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Legal aid divorce UK

Date: (6 February 2013)    |    

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When you cannot afford to pay legal costs or part of legal costs, incurred in a legal dispute and subject to the condition that you can prove it along with the proof of merit of the case you are eligible for legal aid. At times you may have to return a part of the Legal aid back to the government if you have won your case and received money or property through a settlement.

It is going to change following government’s decision to phase out legal aid and should be calculated as matter of urgency to know if you are eligible or not.

The legal aid scheme has been going under the Legal Services Commission (LSC) which directly funds eligible clients. Since 2001 April only specialist family law firms who have a contract with the LSC are eligible to represent or advice clients funded by the LSC.


The basic principle on which legal aid works is if you are in receipt of income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance or guarantee state pension credit, then you are eligible with regard to capital and income limits.

If you are not receiving any of these benefits then you need to show that your capital and your income are within current financial limits. If you are living with a partner (not spouse), his or her income and capital are also taken into account.

Legal aid is of two types one which gives you initial advice and assistance or the previously known green form scheme and the help at court where a solicitor or adviser would speak on your behalf at court hearings without actually being on the records for you. The solicitor in this case would continue to provide services as long as the solicitor or adviser agrees that there is good case or the case is funded in another way.

You must seek these help as soon as possible as until you prove urgency you may have to wait in queue for grant of aid.

How to apply for legal aid

You need to go to a solicitor or an organisation with a contract to provide legal help under the legal help scheme. You will have to fill a form and let the solicitor calculate whether you qualify if he finds you are eligible he/she would take up your matter and if not you may have to leave.

Sometimes firms with legal aid franchise fill up their quotas then you should ask them for their recommendation of a suitable firm in your local area. You may have to furnish details of your name, address, spouse’s name and your contact number including a brief case detail and financial aspects for your solicitor or firm to make appropriate arrangements for you.