30 Apr 2013, 15:22 by Priya Bakshi
Labels: barrister, child-abduction, direct-access, domestic-violence, family-law, forced-marriage, legal-aid, private-family-law, public-family-law, solicitor
From 1st April 2013 the legal aid reforms have affected the availability
of legal aid to civil law cases and in particular, to family law cases.
Reforms to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act
2012 (LASPO) have therefore resulted in legal aid funding being withdrawn for common family law disputes. These include divorce and child custody cases.
Legal aid is now only available to cases where there is evidence of
domestic abuse within the relationship or where issues of child protection are involved. More specifically, legal aid will be available for:
- Public family law regarding protection of children (care proceedings);
- Private family law with evidence of child abuse;
- Child abduction;
- Representation of children in private family cases;
- Legal advice in support of mediation;
- Domestic violence injunction cases;
- Forced marriage protection orders.
For cases no longer eligible for legal aid funding, one alternative is to pay privately. Legal advice can be sought from a barrister through a solicitor, or alternatively directly from a barrister under direct access.