Legal Aid is a service in the UK which provides people with funding to get access to Legal Advice and Legal Services for those who cannot afford it.
In 2013, in a bid to cut public spending, the government made big changes made to Legal Aid services in the UK. The types of civil proceedings that people were able to get funding for reduced drastically. Previously, Legal Aid had been available for almost all Civil Cases; after 2013, it was scrapped entirely from certain types of proceedings, including private family law.
The Law stated however, that where there were private family law cases involving domestic violence, Legal Aid could still be accessed. However, the types of evidence required in order to access funding were extremely restrictive and made it impossible in some cases for victims of domestic violence to access the funding they were entitled to.
Recently, this has been reviewed, and as of the 8th January 2018, revised regulations came in to force. Some of the changes made include the following: –
- Previously there was a time limit to provide evidence; this has been reversed to mean there is now no time constraint.
- Domestic Violence support services can now provide evidence which is sufficient to meet the criteria of the Legal Aid Agency, in addition to other agencies.
- Evidence of violence towards a previous partner is now considered as a risk of abuse.
What to do if I think I may be entitled
In the Family Department at WMB Law, we can advise you on the likelihood of you receiving Legal Aid and assess your entitlement.
Make an appointment to see one of our experienced Family Solicitors who will advise you on your options.