Legal Aid helps with the cost of legal advice for those who cannot afford it.
Upon assessing eligibility for Legal Aid the decision will be based upon:
- The type of legal problem
- Your income and capital
- The merits of your case, this meaning the chances of winning your case and whether it is worth the time and money needed to win
- Your husband, wife or partner’s disposable income and capital will also be taken into account
Reasons for not being eligible
- Your gross monthly income before tax was more than £2,530 in the last month
- A higher gross income limit applies to families with more than 4 dependent children, with £211 added to this figure for the 5th and each subsequent child
- You have more than £8,000 disposable capital
Will you have to pay anything?
If you are granted legal aid, our fees will be paid direct. If you do receive legal aid, you may still have to pay some of the costs, depending on your financial situation and your case.
There are three ways you may have to pay:
- A lump sum (‘capital contribution’)
- Monthly instalments from your income until your case finishes (‘income contribution’)
- Repaying costs if you receive (or keep hold of) money or property by winning your case. This is called the ‘statutory charge’.
Levels of legal aid
- Legal help – initial advice and help with problems
- Help at court
- Family mediation
- Family help – help with negotiations and obtaining court orders
- Legal representation – a barrister or solicitor to represent you in court
It must be noted that if your financial situation changes you must notify us and the Legal Aid Agency immediately. For example, an increase or decrease in your income or if you come into any money.
Upon attending an interview one of our fee earners will explain the procedures of legal aid. A full guide on legal aid can be picked up in our office for your own record, alternatively please follow the links below.
Recent changes to Legal Aid
As of 1st April 2013 public funding was cut to significantly reduce the type of work that is covered by legal aid regardless of whether you are in receipt of state benefits or on a low income. Previously legal aid was available to cover the cost of legal services for all family law issues provided you were financially eligible and there was sufficient benefit to provide public funds.
As of 1st April 2013, legal aid is now only available for Family Law issues in certain circumstances. Legal Aid will continue to be available for cases where Social Services are involved with your children and for domestic abuse cases and child abduction cases.
Makin Dixon Solicitors Ltd offer a free legal aid assessment whereby a specialist family lawyer will assess you for legal aid and whether public funding will be available for your specific set of circumstances. In the event that public funding is not available for your case, we will discuss with you the possible alternative options. Please contact one of our offices to arrange an appointment or alternatively request that a member of our team call you back.