You can still qualify for Legal Aid support in some cases:
- If your case is in relation to children, where the Local Authority Social Services are taking Care Proceedings in relation to those children, then funding is still available
- Domestic Violence Injunction Cases, where you need protection from somebody who is being violent or abusive towards you
- Cases relating to Divorce, financial matters and children, where there is evidence of domestic violence
- Cases in relation to Residence and Contact of children, where there is evidence of child abuse
- Child Abduction
- Representation for a child in Private Family Cases
- Legal advice in support of mediation (no evidence of domestic violence is needed)
- Forced Marriage Protection Order Cases
He's got to keep a roof over our heads hasn't he?
Non-residential parents have to pay maintenance for their children; hopefully the amount can be agreed though negotiation and if not then the CSA will decide. Each case is different. If for example the Mum and the children stay in the family home then she may relinquish her claims over any other assets such as pension and savings in return.
How soon can I file for Divorce?
There is a 12 month barring rule which means you can start the divorce process after being married for 1 year. In England you can get divorced if your marriage has broken down irretrivably, usually proved by allegations of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, or if there has been 2 years' of continously living apart.
Is there any other circumstances where I can qualify for Legal Aid?
For most people, where there is no domestic violence within the relationship, or domestic violence that can be proved to the standard required by the Legal Aid Authority, there is no Public Funding available for Divorce, Dissolution of Civil Partnerships, financial matters and children matters.
My aunt only has one bank account. Can I deal with this on her behalf?
If the bank allows, it is possible for your aunt to name you as a third party on her bank account. This will allow you to withdraw funds and sign cheques on her behalf. We can help your aunt complete the mandate form required to put this in place.
What am I entitled to in a divorce? Can she take me for every penny?
No. Sometimes it may feel as though this has happened. The aim when sharing out matrimonial assets is to be fair. Both spouses have to make full disclosure about their assets and debts before any decisions can be made about distribution, trying to hide anything won't work. Factors which are important when sharing out the assets include the current and future needs of each spouse and any dependent children; the length of marriage and the age, earning capacity and contributions of each party.
What counts as Domestic Violence?
The Legal Aid Authority will accept the following evidence as domestic violence outlined in our PDF guide.
This must be provided by you before we are able to sign you up to any form of Legal Aid, unless you are looking for Help with Mediation, a Domestic Violence Injunction or Local Authority Care Proceedings relating to children.
Please note that the allegations have to be in relation to the person that you are currently having problems with. These allegations cannot be in relation to a previous or different partner as you will not qualify for Legal Aid.
Will I lose touch with my children?
Your aim should be that both parents still play an active part in the raising of the child/children. Usually parents sort this out amongst themselves, although if there are problems mediation can be a good way to resolve this. Going to Court should always be the last resort where children are involved.
Will we have to go to Court during our divorce?
No, getting a divorce should be an administrative excersise only and there are many options open to you that avoid going to Court.