There has been a lot of press attention in recent months about the cuts in Legal Aid which have far reaching consequences for those on low incomes seeking legal advice. The effect is that very little financial help remains for many areas of law including family law. There will be no Legal Aid for Divorce or Financial Matters, as well as Contact and Residence disputes between parents. However, Legal Aid is still available for some types of legal issues, predominantly Domestic Violence and Care Proceedings.
In addition, where Domestic Violence can be substantiated by certain accepted types of documentary evidence then, provided you meet the financial criteria, Legal Aid will still be available in relation to Divorce, Financial, Contact and Residence disputes for the victims of Domestic Violence. This can be of vital importance for vulnerable people who need help to break the cycle of Domestic Violence.
There is also Legal Aid for parents, and in some cases children, where Social Services have become involved. In some cases there are no financial criteria to fulfil for Legal Aid in this area of law.
What should be remembered is that many law firms like us still operate a Free First Appointment. So you have nothing to lose by contacting your local firm to find out what your options are and to better understand your position. Increasingly firms like us are offering a range of fixed fees to try and cater for every budget so as to ensure that people are not completely without access to advice.
For more information on Legal Aid visit www.gov.uk/legal-aid or contact QualitySolicitors Knight Polson on 023 8064 4822,