Legal Aid solicitors
There can be difficult times in all of our family lives when we require help from legal experts. Whether you need support with a complex divorce or a family dispute, our panel of recommended lawyers are here to help you by offering advice and representation on all aspects of family law including divorce and finances, children law and family arrangements, as well as other family law issues such as domestic abuse.
Sometimes the costs involved with instructing a solicitor may put many parties off pursing a case; however, financial assistance in the form of legal aid may be available for your case. We have a panel of legal aid solicitors who may be able to assist you if you qualify for financial help.
What is Legal Aid?
In England and Wales, legal aid is a system in which the government provides financial assistance and case funding to individuals who are unable to afford legal representation and the legal costs involved in a case. This assistance is provided through the Legal Aid Agency, which is a government body that administers the legal aid system.
Do you qualify for legal aid?
Legal aid is available for a wide range of legal issues, including criminal cases, family law, immigration, and housing.
Eligibility for legal aid is based on a means test, (except for those requiring a legal aid solicitor to attend a police station following their arrest), which takes into account an individual’s income and assets. The legal aid system in England is undergoing some significant changes and reforms. These changes include reducing the scope of legal aid and making some changes to the eligibility criteria for it.
The Legal Aid Agency uses a combination of gross income, net income, and capital to determine whether an individual is eligible for legal aid.
In general, you may qualify for legal aid if your income is below a certain threshold. For example, as of 2021, if you are a single person, you may qualify for legal aid if your gross annual income is less than £22,325. The threshold is higher for families, and different for those who are on certain benefits or tax credits.
Capital is also taken into account when determining eligibility for legal aid. Capital includes savings, investments, and property (excluding your main home). As of 2021, the capital limit is £8,000, if you are single person and £16,000 if you are part of a family.
It’s important to note that these thresholds and rules are subject to change and also it may vary depending on the specific legal matter and the type of legal aid being sought. It is advisable to contact the Legal Aid Agency or speak to your legal adviser or solicitor directly to determine your eligibility for legal aid.
Legal aid solicitors for family law matters
Legal aid is available for a wide range of family law issues, including divorce, child custody, care arrangements and domestic abuse/ domestic violence. It can be used to cover the costs of legal advice and assistance in some family law cases.
It’s important to note that legal aid is not always available for each type of family law case. For example, legal aid is not generally available for private law children cases unless there is a risk of harm to the child or if the case involves domestic abuse. Additionally, legal aid for family mediation is also not available.
Legal aid for family law cases in England and Wales is means-tested. This means that an individual’s income and assets are taken into account when determining eligibility for legal aid. In general, an individual may qualify for legal aid if their income is below a certain threshold and their capital is below a certain limit.
How to obtain legal aid for your case
If you believe you are eligible for legal aid to cover the costs of legal services in your case, you will be required to apply for legal aid. Most legal aid solicitors will assist you in your application to the legal aid agency. Some solicitors have a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and are able to apply for legal aid on behalf of their clients. These solicitors are known as “contract holders” and they are able to provide legal aid services under the contract they have with the Legal Aid Agency.
It’s important to note that even if a solicitor is a contract holder, they may still decide not to apply for legal aid on your behalf if they believe that your case is not suitable for legal aid or if the solicitor thinks that you may not qualify for legal aid based on the means test.
It is advisable to discuss this with your solicitor at the initial consultation and find out if they are able to apply for legal aid on your behalf, or if you will be required to apply for legal aid yourself. If you’re not sure, you can also contact the Legal Aid Agency directly to check whether you are eligible for legal aid and for more information on how to apply for it.
How can Expert Family Law’s panel of Legal Aid Solicitors assist?
If you need assistance in finding a legal aid solicitor, Expert Family Law have a panel of experienced family law solicitors who can assist on your case. If you are not eligible for legal aid, our panel firms will work with you to find a cost-effective solution to funding your case.
Each solicitor we work with is highly experienced and authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and registered in England and Wales.
Get in touch with a member of our team today using the form at the top of the page to find out if a family lawyer from a law firm on our panel could help on your case. Unfortunately, we may not always be able to match you with a panel firm based in your location; however, all of our firms will have the ability to assist you remotely.
If you require a legal aid solicitor to assist you on a case that falls outside of the scope of family law, please use the Law Society Find a Solicitor tool.
Expert Family Law assisted me in finding the right solicitor for my divorce proceedings. The process was smooth and I was more than happy with my appointed solicitor and the amicable outcome that was achieved.
Expert Family Law
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