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How is Legal Aid assessed?

Means testing to assess financial eligibility is one aspect of determining if someone qualifies for civil legal aid. The means test is set out within Civil Legal Aid (Financial Resources and Payment for Services) Regulations 2013.

Non-means and non-merits tested

There are different situations where your income level hardly matters for availing Legal Aid. If the case is good enough to justify the cause, Legal Aid would be available to you on its own.

In cases where social services pursue court proceedings seeking directions against you with regard to your child for removal of the child from your personal care or custody. In such circumstances, if appropriate, you may apparently become eligible for legal aid assistance and should be able to get immediate help from a good family lawyer.

family law solicitor

In cases where you are responsible to take care of the child who is not your own and the social services are looking to take away your right of taking care of the child, you may definitely obtain the available Legal Aid.

 

Means tested

There are certain Legal Aid facilities available to certain class having low/lesser income. Roughly if your monthly income is over £2,657 or where your total savings is more than £8,000, then the Legal Aid would not be available to you. Your own home will be taken as capital and in case it is mortgaged, the mortgaged part will be deducted. You can visit https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid, this will provide you the details of applying online. The information can also be gathered by making a call and you may also get the information things to be done if Legal aid is required urgently.

 

The following instances outline where there is a presumption that you are financially eligible for Legal Aid:

Domestic violence injunction 

Legal Aid might be available if you are making an application for domestic violence injunction. The Application must necessarily be substantiated by appropriate and relevant evidence and usually a sworn statement by the aggrieved party would suffice. However, strict proof is not required in cases enumerated below. An order obtained in the Injunction Application can be used to satisfy Legal Aid Evidence in the case to be instituted within two years from the date of such order in the Injunction application. These will be applicable in the cases relating to children or Divorce.

 

Cases about children or money

Legal aid is available only in limited cases and usually does not extend to other family matters such as child living, visitation rights or contact for a parent after marital discord or in cases such as financial matters after divorce. The right to avail legal aid arises to a person if any of the below mentioned conditions is satisfied.

  • If you are able to successfully establish that you and the child are vulnerable to some kind of harm from the other party and have been victims of domestic violence or abuse. Legal aid may also become available when you are filing an application for injunction to protect yourself or the child from domestic violence.
  • If you are able to show that you are sincerely looking to protect your child from being a victim of abuse and harm that may be caused by some other person in the matter.
  • Cases involving abduction of a child

It is important for you to satisfy the Legal Aid Agency on the issue of the intensity of the case to avail funding in the form of legal aid.

 

Contact us to see how we can help you with your divorce

For more information on your options call our team on 0845 862 5001 or email mail@austinkemp.co.uk.

We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in London WC2N 4JF and Manchester M2 4PD. Please contact us for more details.

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31st October 2016

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