Legal assistance for family mediation is also available. This ensures that the government can cover all the expenses of mediation if you have low wages and minimal savings.
Legal assistance may help to meet the expense of legal advice, family mediation and court or tribunal representation.
Usually you have to show this:
- Your situation is entitled to legal assistance
- The issue is critical
- You can’t allow yourself to pay legal costs
- For instance, you can obtain legal assistance if:
- You or your family are vulnerable to violence or serious harm such as domestic abuse or marriage.
- You face homelessness or your home loss
- A felony, facing jail or detention was suspected of you
- Are you discriminated against
- Family mediation is required
- You add or put a case in compliance with the Human Rights Act.
It will depend on whether you qualify for legal aid:
- case type type
- your circumstances financially
Civil proceedings (non-criminal)
Cases such as bankruptcy, family or housing issues include civil cases. You typically need to prove that you can’t afford to cover legal bills in order to obtain legal assistance and the issue is serious.
You will typically have to include data and proof of your and your partner’s wages, benefits, investments and property. You will have to include your parents’ or guardians’ income details if you are under the age of 18.
For cases concerning: the financial condition is not considered
- Courts of Mental Health
- Careful children
- Baby kidnapping
In a case of divorce, for instance, you will still need to give proof of the issue by giving a court order or letter of the GP to prove that you or your child have been harmed.
Check if you are entitled to legal assistance in civil cases.
Charge the case expenses
Legal assistance cannot cover all the case expenses. Maybe you must:
- Pay these things in advance
- Return some of the expense when you gain your money or property
Any money and property that you win is paid or claimed by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) – known as the “statutory charge.” If you are at home, you may postpone payment and charge the debt to your home (similar to a mortgage).
Your legal expert will clarify how it operates.
To discuss how to pay, contact the LAA’s Secured Debt Team.
How to Apply
Check if in England or Wales, you can get legal assistance.
If you are in Scotland or Northern Ireland, seek an attorney for legal assistance.
You will obtain legal assistance on your behalf from your counsel or family mediator. The government will pay its costs directly if you apply.
In an emergency, get legal help
You will get urgent assistance, for instance to defend you and your children from domestic violence if you need urgent representation in court.
Any urgent action will be covered by the Legal Adviser for Emergency Legal Representation. For continuous jobs, you still have to apply for legal support in the regular way.
If you are detained and held in a police station, a police detention officer will help you to get legal assistance. Free advice is given to you:
- Via phone (if the offence is less serious)
- Duty Supporter of the police station
- Your own legal consultant
When you are convicted or are being tried
If you are charged with a crime or have to go to the judge, your lawyer can verify whether you qualify for legal assistance. Then you may:
- Get the same organization advice which helped you at the police station
- Ask the court officer to talk
- Find your own lawyer for criminal help
What you ought to bring to your legal consultant
You will have to provide yourself and your partner with the following information:
- Benefits – including statement of benefits
- Revenue, savings and expenditure — including payment and bank statements
- Numbers of National Insurance
- You’ll also need copies of proof of your argument, for example:
- Court records Court documents
- Certificates of marriage and birth (for family cases)
- The related letters