Family Lawyers & Mediators in Brighton
01273 684666

Divorce & Separation – Legal Aid Availability

Since 1st April 2013 public funding (legal aid) for divorce, separation and other family cases will only be available under certain specific circumstances…

  • Injunctions
  • Applications under the Forced Marriages Act
  • Public law Children Act care proceedings
  • Mediation (subject to financial eligibility and assessment by a mediator)

Unless there has been domestic and/or child abuse, legal aid is now no longer available for…

  • Divorce
  • Parental access to, or custody of, children
  • Financial applications between married couples, civil partners or cohabitees

Remember that, subject to eligibility, you may still get funding for a divorce conducted through mediation and in most cases this is a quicker and less stressful route. Please contact us for details.

Abuse has to be documented and the requirements as to evidence of domestic abuse are strict. Some simplified examples of the type of evidence required are (you would need to contact us to discuss whether a specific case is eligible)…

  • Your partner has an unspent conviction for domestic violence or child abuse
  • Your partner has a recent police caution for domestic violence or child abuse
  • There are current criminal proceedings against your partner for domestic violence or child abuse
  • There is a current or recent protective injunction against your partner
  • There is a confirmation from an assessment conference that you are at high risk of domestic violence or are subject to a protection plan
  • A health professional confirms that you have had injuries or a condition consistent with those of a victim of domestic violence
  • A social services department has assessed that there is a risk of domestic violence or child abuse from your partner
  • A social services department has put in place a child protection plan
  • A domestic violence support organisation confirms that you had been admitted to refuge accommodation

Legal Aid for Mediation
From 3rd November 2014 legal aid is available to fund both the MIAM and the first session of mediation where one of the people involved qualifies for legal aid.

 

For further information see Legal Aid Changes for Mediation , Family Mediation in Brighton and About Family Mediation.
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