Can I get Legal Aid to apply to court?
You may be able to get legal aid to obtain the court orders described here. Legal aid is the payment of public funds or money towards legal advice, mediation and representation.
Depending on your income and capital, legal aid is available for certain types of cases, including applications for:
- non-molestation orders,
- occupation orders,
- restraining orders and
- forced marriage protection orders.
Legal aid for financial orders on separation or divorce, child arrangement orders, and certain other family issues is only available if you can provide certain evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.
If you want to apply for legal aid to apply for any of the above orders, you have to apply to the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) which is the Government body in charge of administering legal aid in England and Wales. You will have to show them that:
- you have a good case and that
- you fall within the financial eligibility levels for legal aid. Legal aid is generally only available for those on a low income or benefits and who can satisfy the financial limits set by the LAA. The LAA will look at your savings, properties, income from employment and any other sources of income. Depending on the level of your income and capital, you may have to pay a contribution towards your legal aid. If you benefit financially from the case you may have to pay back your legal costs to the LAA.
In some limited types of cases you may automatically be eligible for legal aid. This includes parents and others with parental responsibility where the local authority has applied for a care or supervision order or an emergency protection order.
For further information on legal aid for family law, see Rights of Women's Guide to Family Law Legal Aid. To find out whether you can get legal aid contact the Legal Aid Agency.