legal aid liverpool

Legal Aid: A Problem But Not A Barrier To Justice

To find out if you qualify for legal aid, get in touch with our friendly local lawyers. You can contact us by calling us on 0151 329 2641 or fill out our online enquiry form.

The biggest legal story of recent months has definitely been the government's cuts to legal aid that were introduced in April 2012.

If you are looking to take a case through MSB you may be rightly wondering how the costs will be paid for.

Legal aid is financial assistance that is provided by government to fund legal work when those involved cannot otherwise pay for legal representation. It is provided on the basis that everyone deserves the right of fair and equal representation before the eyes of the law, regardless of their ability to pay for it.

However, since the latest changes were enacted in April 2013, the current government has already taken £320m out of the annual legal aid budget. They plan to remove a further £220m each year until 2018.

The extent of these cuts is massive, and they will affect both criminal law (when a crime has been committed) and civil law (where disputes are settled).

Due to an annual budget of £2bn per year, the government say that, England and Wales' legal aid system is the most expensive in the world - and that it badly needs reform.

It is no longer possible to get legal aid for the majority of cases although there are exceptions involving divorce, clinical negligence welfare benefits, and child custody and contact.

Resolution, the country's largest association of family law practitioners, has claim that the devastating effects of the legal aid cuts could result in 200,000 people a year being denied access to justice.

The picture is not straightforward by any means. However here at MSB we actively look to work both around and within the current system.

You should certainly not be put off enquiring about your case as whatever your circumstances MSB will thoroughly investigate all the available options with you.

Our message, says MSB family lawyer Paula Mansfield is that "legal aid is still available for many family law cases and where it is not we will actively work with clients to find a solution that still allows them to be legally represented."

Do I Qualify for Legal Aid?

Currently, you can't get legal aid for most private family law cases such as divorce, and certain disputes about children and finances unless you're a victim of domestic violence or abuse. Domestic violence or abuse includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

You can get qualify for legal aid where:

  • You are a victim of domestic violence and you need advice on your rights to stay in your home and need an order to protect you.
  • You are a victim of domestic violence and need legal advice on issues such as divorce, money and disputes concerning children.
  • Where you need to protect a child who is at risk of abuse. An example could include a situation where you need to apply to court to prevent a known child abuser from having contact with children.
  • Where you need family mediation to solve a relationship breakdown in your household.
  • If you are a child involved in a court case.
  • If you are being forced into marriage or because you have been forced into marriage already.
  • If your local authority is taking court proceedings against you to take your child into care.
  • If you need to prevent children being removed from the UK or to recover them if they have already been unlawfully removed from this country.
  • If you need to enforce agreements relating to children and financial maintenance.

In each example above there are rules about the proof that you must follow to qualify for legal aid in these cases. For example, you might need a doctor's letter to establish that you have suffered violence or abuse.

Contact Family Law Liverpool Today

Our solicitors can advise you what you need to do once they know the specific details of your situation. The first thing to do though is to give us a call in confidence. We will take note of your circumstances and let you know what options you have.

Contact us today on 0151 329 2641 or fill out our online enquiry form.

Enquire now

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