In September 2022, the government announced it was increasing fees for legal aid in response to the first magisterial protests in UK history for defence attorneys. At ICS Law, we want our clients to be as informed as possible during these changing times about all levels of advice that are available to them. As such, today we are reviewing the benefits of legal aid and how it can be implemented in your case.
What is legal aid and how can it support me?
Legal aid relates to financial support from the state and applies to both civil and criminal cases. In the UK, legal aid is distributed on an “eligibility” basis for civil cases. To simplify, legal aid can be offered once the:
Scope – the case has to be one for which legal aid is available
Merits – the importance of the case to the client
Means – the client’s financial eligibility
Has been assessed.
After being reviewed, legal aid can be used to fund evidence gathering, assist in family mediation, and invest in the right representation for you.
Does my case qualify for legal aid?
Legal aid can be a layered and complicated process, we want to break down the jargon and get to the heart of the matter. As a matter of principle, our experienced matrimonial team will carry out a legal aid assessment for all childcare matters. With this in mind, let us unpack the requirements you will need to meet for legal aid assistance in a family dispute.
In civil family matters, it is important to keep the focus on the most crucial factor – supporting the children and all the elements surrounding them. As discussed above, the criteria for assistance is based on the financial stability of the client and the contents of their case.
The Legal Aid Act (as of 2012) will also consider other factors surrounding a client for immediate granting of legal aid. For example, if there is concern from the local authority about a child’s well-being or if the client (or children) are at risk of domestic violence.
Domestic violence can play a role in determining what aid can be offered, victims will need to provide evidence that shows the partner within the case has been abusive or has the potential risk to be abusive. We have reviewed the details of Act 65 and domestic abuse in a legal setting in a previous article, if you would like more information on domestic abuse assistance please click here.
Personal issues, from potential homelessness to family division, may also be at the top of your mind when pursuing legal action. As such, legal aid can be implemented to assure that clients are financially and emotionally secure in the present and the future.
How can we help?
At ICS-Law, the personal circumstances of our clients are crucial to understanding what legal aid we can offer. Legal aid is an individually tested benefit that is as unique as each client and each case we see here at ICS. As such, we are always on hand to offer the best advice for your particular circumstances.
If you believe you are eligible for legal aid and would like to discuss your options with our knowledgeable team, get in touch with us here.