Requirement of Evidence for Private Family cases:-
Changes in Legal Aid provisions came into force from the 1st April 2013 where legal aid is no longer available for private family cases, which cover matters arising from separation or divorce (mainly child contact issues, residence issue and division of assets). There is however an exception for victims of domestic violence.
The Legal Aid Agency will require evidence of domestic violence and abuse in order to fund legal aid in these types of cases. If you are a victim of domestic violence you will need to give us some evidence that you have been a victim of domestic violence by your partner. You will be able to get legal aid to help you with separation or divorcing your partner where you are a victim of domestic violence.
There are many forms of domestic violence (which can be viewed here: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-articles.asp?section=00010001002200410001&itemid=1272).
The list of evidence required is as follows:-
- criminal conviction
- police caution
- ongoing criminal proceedings
- protective injunction
- an undertaking
- letter from a Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference
- finding of fact, by a court
- letter from social services
- letter from a GP, doctor, nurse, midwife or healthcare professional
- letter from a domestic violence refuge
We can support you in gathering the appropriate evidence to allow you to obtain legal aid following your first appointment. We will also assess whether you are eligible for legal aid at the same stage. All appointments of this nature are confidential, free and can be made on an emergency basis (same day when required).
NOTE the requirement of evidence does NOT apply to:-
- Protection from Harassment Injunctions and related cases which are still covered by Legal Aid and DO NOT require evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.
- Care related cases (known as Public family Law) such as Care proceedings and problems with Children’s Services (Social Services) are still covered by Legal Aid and DO NOT require evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.
You will of course have to be financially eligible for any grant of legal aid from the Legal Aid Agency.
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