Reforms which will significantly reduce the scope and provision of legal aid have come into effect as from 1st April 2013.
These reforms mean that legal aid will not be available for private family law matters, such as divorce, finance and children matters.
However legal aid is available for situations such as domestic violence, if there has been any domestic violence in a relationship in the previous 24 months, legal aid will be available for divorce, finance or children matters as long as you are the victim of such violence. But documentary evidence must be provided of the domestic violence that has occurred.
Similarly if there has been any child abuse in the previous 24 months, legal aid will be available for private children disputes, but as mentioned above evidence of the abuse is a requirement to be eligible of receiving legal aid.
Other situations where legal aid is available are child abduction, care proceedings, forced marriage protection orders, legal advice in support of mediation and domestic violence injunction cases.
All the above situations are all subject to the financial eligibility criteria, which would require you to pass a means test. This is a test that considers ones income and expenditure establishing whether you are financially eligible for legal aid funded services.
The effect of this change is such that individuals who may have been eligible to receive help with their legal costs or indeed to have full payment made for them, will now have much larger legal fees to pay.
At Douglas Wemyss Solicitors we understand the stresses and strains that a breakdown in a family unit can bring and especially the financial strain that legal costs can bring which is why we will quote you on your case on a fixed fee basis so you are clear from the onset of costs and whats more we can even spread the costs into monthly installments.
To book an appointmnet with a family law solicitor for a no obligation consultation call today on (0116) 2999199