Can I get Legal Aid - Family Law

By Paul Hunt at 16:00

For a long time now legal aid in family proceedings has been very restrictive and even though it is over 10 years since those changes were introduced, it still comes as an unpleasant shock to people who may be on benefits or otherwise have a very limited income to find that they are not eligible for legal aid to help them with issues concerning divorce or children. 

Legal aid is still available for certain applications, such as for Non-Molestation Orders to provide protection.  However, in cases relating to divorce finances, or disputes as to children’s arrangements, you first have to provide the necessary gateway evidence of domestic violence/domestic abuse, or risk to children. 

There are very specific regulations as to what constitutes appropriate gateway evidence for this purpose and it is not enough, for example, to be able to show that the police may have been called a number of times if that did not convert into any action being taken. 

Legal aid, however, remains available for public law proceedings involving the Local Authority, and is automatically available to a parent or a person who otherwise has parental responsibility in applications by the Local Authority for care orders for children. 

It is important to remember, however, that even if you have the gateway evidence, you still have to qualify an assessment of your financial means, and as to the merits of the case. 


Paul Hunt

Paul Hunt , Senior Associate

As a senior solicitor Paul is responsible for cases involving divorce or separation, children, financial and property issues and domestic violence.

He is member of Resolution panel for private children law, ancillary relief and domestic violence. Paul is also trained in Collaborative Law.

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