Will I qualify for Legal Aid?

Get expert guidance on legal aid eligibility from MSB Solicitors, serving families in Merseyside, Cheshire and Manchester.

Navigating family law issues can be stressful, and financial concerns can add another layer of burden. Thankfully, legal aid exists to help eligible individuals access legal representation. At MSB, our experienced family law solicitors are here to assess your eligibility and help you secure funding.

Understanding Legal Aid

The legal aid agency considers three main factors when granting funding:

  1. Scope: Your case type must fall within the categories for legal aid. This includes child arrangement orders, care proceedings, domestic abuse matters, divorce, and financial remedy cases.
  2. Means: For certain cases, you must demonstrate financial hardship and inability to afford legal costs yourself.
  3. Merits: The legal aid agency assesses the likelihood of your case’s success and the potential benefit it holds for you. 

Public Law vs. Private Law

Public Law: If social services are involved with your family, legal aid is often available regardless of your means, or the case’s merits. This includes situations where social services apply for court orders regarding your child (supervision order care order, placement order, adoption order) or contact with child in care matters.

Private Law: Disputes between parents, family members, or caregivers regarding child arrangements/custody, financial settlements, divorce, or parental responsibility may also qualify for legal aid based on your financial situation and the case’s merits.

Domestic Abuse & Legal Aid

MSB understands the complexities of domestic abuse and its impact on families. If you’ve experienced domestic abuse, know that legal aid is available in many situations. We can advise you on the necessary evidence, including GP letters, domestic abuse agency documentation, or protective orders.

Domestic abuse encompasses various forms of harmful behaviour (see The Domestic Abuse Act 2021). It is crucial to recognise that domestic abuse is not limited just to physical harm, but can also be threats, control, coercion, economic manipulation, and emotional distress to name but a few instances.

Child protection and Legal Aid:

If you fear your child is at risk of physical, emotional, sexual harm or neglectful abuse from a parent, grandparent, or other caregiver, legal aid may be available.

If your child is already known to social services, documentation like letters from social workers or child protection plans can serve as legal aid gateway evidence.

Remember, this is not an exhaustive list. Of evidence the legal aid can accept and we can give you specific advice.

Common Misconceptions about Legal Aid:

Q: Can I access legal aid if I own a home or have a job?

A: Owning a home or being employed does not automatically disqualify you from legal aid. We can assess your individual circumstances to determine eligibility.

Q:  Can I access legal aid if I receive benefits?

A: Receiving certain benefits like Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseeker’s allowance, Employment support allowance can make you eligible for legal aid. Please contact us for a legal aid eligibility assessment.

Contact MSB Solicitors Today:

Don’t let financial worries prevent you from seeking legal support. Contact MSB solicitors today for a free legal aid eligibility assessment. We serve families in Liverpool, Manchester, and Cheshire, offering compassionate, expert guidance throughout your legal journey.

Contact us, we are here to help

If you would like to discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Hannah Cuthel at hannahcuthel@msbsolicitors.co.uk.

We have a broad range of expertise that can help you