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A recent article has highlighted that the cuts to Legal Aid have "inflicted such disarray in family courts that parents are abandoning efforts to maintain contact with their children".
According to statistics, the number of people receiving Legal Aid has fallen more than 80% in the last eight years which is of course a staggering amount.
Legal Aid is only available in limited circumstances. The reforms to Legal Aid have meant that parties wishing to access Legal Aid no longer just need to be financially eligible if they wish to make Application's to the Court in respect of children. In addition to financial eligibility and the merits of the case, parties wanting to access Legal Aid need to have evidence that they have been a victim of domestic abuse or a child is at risk of child abuse. The evidence that needs to be obtained is very specific and can generally only be obtained from professionals not limited to but including, the Police, the Court's both family and criminal, health professionals or a domestic violence support service. In addition, evidence can also be obtained from the Social Services.
At Ramsdens, we recognise that the Legal Aid reforms make it difficult for many people to obtain legal advice and representation in proceedings involving children therefore, we can offer fixed fees to attend Court hearings. In addition, we also offer a free 30 minute consultation at any of our offices to discuss your options in relation to a new or ongoing Court Application.
If you would like more information on children matters or any aspect of Family Law please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly and professional family law team to arrange a consultation. Call us free on 08000 147720, send us an email or text LAW to 67777 to book a free information session at any of our offices. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.