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Legal Aid

Legal Aid in Family Cases

 

You may still be able to get Legal aid in the following circumstances

  1. If you are in dispute with social services about your children, for example if social services are trying to remove your children from your home and you wish to contest this.

  2. For victims of domestic violence

  3. In cases of international child abduction, where your partner is trying to take your child out of the UK, or has already done so

  4. If your child is being taken into care by social services

  5. For divorce, financial issues and disputes concerning children.

In respect of Legal Aid for such matters it is available where evidence can be provided of domestic abuse and is dependent on certain income and capital levels. If you do think you would be eligible you will need to bring evidence of eligibility with you to the first interview.  

Click here for the legal aid eligibility evidence list

Click here to read more about legal aid

To find out more please call us on 01202 674425 or email: office@jacobsreeves.co.uk

Legal Aid Evidence List

Domestic Violence

In cases of domestic violence, at least one of the following is required in relation to a matter arising out of a family relationship between you and another:-

  1. The other party has been arrested for a domestic violence offence and the investigation is ongoing or the other party has been charged with the offence (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  2. A police caution for a domestic violence offence (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  3. Criminal proceedings for a domestic violence offence which have not concluded (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  4. A conviction for a domestic violence offence (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  5. A court order binding over the other party in connection with a domestic violence offence (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  6. A domestic violence protection notice or a domestic violence protection order against the other party (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  7. A protective injunction (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  8. An undertaking relating to domestic abuse given by the other party provided that a cross-undertaking was not given by the client (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  9. A copy of a finding of fact that there has been domestic violence by the other party. The finding of fact must have been made by a court in the UK (can be against the client or another person the other party was in a family relationship with);

  10. An expert report produced as evidence in proceedings in the UK for the benefit of a court or tribunal confirming that someone who was in a family relationship with the abuser was assessed as being, or at risk of being, a victim of domestic violence from the other party;

  11. A letter or report from a health professional who has access to the clients medical records, confirming that that professional, or another health professional— 

    a. has examined the client in person; and 

    b. was satisfied following that examination that the client had injuries or a condition consistent with those of a victim of domestic violence;

  12. A letter or report from— 

    a. the health professional who made the referral described below; or 

    b. a health professional who has access to the clients medical records, confirming that there was a referral by a health professional to a person who provides specialist support or assistance for victims of, or those at risk of, domestic violence;

  13. A letter from an independent domestic violence advisor confirming that they are providing support to the client;

  14. A letter from an independent sexual violence advisor confirming that they are providing support to the client relating to sexual violence from the other party;

  15. A letter from an organisation providing domestic violence support services. The letter must set out that: 

    a. the organisation is situated in England and Wales; 

    b. the organisation has been operating for an uninterrupted period of 6 months or more; and 

    c. the organisation has provided the client with support in relation to their needs as a victim or person at risk of domestic abuse and contain: 

    d. a statement that in the professional judgment of the author of the letter, the client is, or is at risk of being, a victim of domestic abuse;

    e. a description of the matters relied upon to support that judgment; 

    f. a description of the support provided to the client; 

    g. a statement of the reasons why the client needed that support;

  16. A letter from an organisation providing domestic violence support services in the UK confirming that: 

    a. someone who was in a family relationship with the other side was refused admission to a refuge; 

    b. the date on which he/she was refused admission to the refuge; and 

    c. he/she sought admission to the refuge because of allegations of domestic violence by the abuser;

  17. A letter or report from the person to whom the referral was made, confirming that there was a referral by a health professional to a person who provides specialist support or assistance for victims of, or those at risk of, domestic violence;

  18. A letter from any person who is a member of a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) or other local safeguarding forum confirming that the client or a person who is in a family relationship with them is, or has been, at risk of harm from domestic abuse from the other side;

  19. A letter from a public authority confirming that a person with whom the other side is or was in a family relationship was assessed as being, or at risk of being, a victim of domestic violence by the other side (or a copy of that assessment);

  20. A letter from an officer employed by a local authority or housing association (or their equivalent in Scotland or Northern Ireland) for the purpose of supporting tenants containing:

  21. A statement that in their professional judgment, a person with whom the other side is or was in a family relationship is, or is at risk of being, a victim of domestic violence by the abuser;

    a. A description of the specific matters relied upon to support that judgment; and 

    b. A description of the support they provided to the victim of domestic violence or the person at risk of domestic violence;

  22. A letter from the Secretary of State for the Home Department confirming that the client has been granted leave to remain in the UK under paragraph 289B of the Immigration Rules;

*If you are going to get a letter from your surgery, you may be charged for this service. We cannot cover the cost of this letter. If you are unable to cover the costs yourself, please print the attached letter and take it with you to the doctor or nurse.

Children

 

In cases where children are involved, you must provide at least one of the following when the child is at risk of abuse from the other person:-

  1. The other party has been arrested for a child abuse offence – the client should ask the police or CPS for evidence of this;

  2. A police caution for a child abuse offence - the client should ask the police or CPS for evidence of this; 

  3. Ongoing criminal proceedings for a child abuse offence – the client should ask the police or CPS for evidence of this; 

  4. A conviction for a child abuse offence – the client should ask the police or CPS for evidence of this;

  5. A protective injunction;

  6. Evidence that findings of child abuse have been made in proceedings in the United Kingdom;

  7. A letter from a social services department (or copy of a child protection plan) confirming that they assessed the child as being or at risk of being a victim of child abuse, by the other party;

  8. Evidence of an application for a protective injunction together with an application for a prohibited steps order to protect the child from the other party (the child should be named as party) which has not yet been decided. 

To find out more please call us on 01202 674425 or email: office@jacobsreeves.co.uk.

About Legal Aid

The Government provides funding for Legal Aid to help people:

(a) protect their basic rights and get a fair hearing; 

(b) access the court process to sort out disputes; 
(c) solve problems that contribute to social exclusion.

 

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) runs the Legal Aid scheme in England and Wales. The LAA fund us to:-

a) Advise people on their legal problems (such as family breakdown);
b) Help people understand their rights and the law;
c) Advise people detained in police stations; and,
d) if necessary represent people in court.

People experiencing social problems often need legal advice in areas such as family issues, relationship breakdown and domestic violence.

Most usually this will be in matters involving divorce and other relationship breakdown including children and financial issues.

Legal Aid can fund:-

(a) Initial advice and assistance;
(b) Help and advice on family disputes;
(c) Legal representation in court proceedings.

The LAA award Legal Aid to those who meet certain conditions, namely:-


(i) Financial means (financial eligibility test look at client's income and capital);
(ii) Legal merits test laid down by Parliament;

We are empowered by the LAA in certain circumstances to grant legal aid ourselves to clients immediately.

You may still be able to get Legal aid in the following circumstances: 

If you are in dispute with social services about your children, for example if social services are trying to remove your children from your home and you wish to contest this.

  1. For victims of domestic violence

  2. In cases of international child abduction, where your partner is trying to take your child out of the UK, or 

  3. has already done so

  4. If your child is being taken into care by social services.

  5. For divorce, financial issues and disputes concerning children

In respect of Legal Aid for such matters it is available where evidence can be provided of domestic abuse and is dependent on certain income and capital levels. If you do think you would be eligible you will need to bring evidence of eligibility with you to the first interview.