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New regulations from the Ministry of Justice come into force on Tuesday 22 April. These regulations aim to widen the evidence criteria for access to Legal Aid for victims of domestic violence. New evidence that will be accepted includes: - Evidence of police bail for a domestic violence offence - Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPOs) - Evidence of referral to domestic violence support services from a health professional - Evidence of not being able to access refuge accommodation How will this help? The widening of the evidence criteria for Legal Aid is welcomed as it will allow more people that have suffered domestic violence access the Legal Aid that they are entitled to. Concerns have recently been raised in relation to the difficulties that people face in accessing Legal Aid despite being in abusive relationships. Due to the legal aid cutbacks people have been left feeling like justice is now inaccessible as they are unable to afford a divorce, feel unable to represent themselves in Court, or worry that they may lose their children. Charities have reported that many solicitors firms are withdrawing their provision of family law Legal Aid due to the changes, meaning many people are now faced with greater difficulties as they are unable to find a solicitor in their area. At Ramsdens we have not withdrawn our provision of family law Legal Aid despite the recent changes, therefore, we can help. We understand the importance of people having access to the justice that they deserve in all family law matters especially, where a person has suffered abuse. Ramsdens believe that domestic violence is wrong in all circumstances and we are committed to assisting people effected by it. We can assist in relation to divorce, obtaining Non-Molestation or Occupation Orders, sending warning letters to perpetrators of violence or by simply providing you with the immediate advice that you need in relation to domestic violence. Contact us If you would like to discuss the rights and options that are available to you there are a number of ways to contact us. Call our Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email family@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777 to book a free information session at any of our nine offices.