No Legal Aid for Family matters? See our Flexible Advice and Payment Schemes

In April 2013 Legal Aid will no longer be available in most family cases. This means, regardless of your financial circumstances, you will not be able to obtain Legal Aid for divorce, children or financial issues. We recognise the adverse impact this will have on access to justice and have devised a range of options to help you afford our services.

You can have a free initial interview in certain circumstances.

We offer a fixed rate divorce for £500 excluding vat and court fees (currently £385 – if you are on a low income you may be exempt from paying the court fees). The fixed rate will not apply if the proceedings are defended or the Petition has to be changed after issue. The fixed rate also does not cover the cost of obtaining a replacement marriage certificate or advice in relation to children or financial issues.

You can pay your costs on a monthly basis by standing order, we also accept payments by credit card or Visa.

We also offer fixed rate packages in relation to financial matters, please see the Family section for full details of this.

Another service offered is what we call our ‘Advise in the Background’ Service. This offers total flexibility to you. You can represent yourself, deal directly with your spouse or ex-partner’s solicitor and take advice from us as and when you need it, either on the telephone or at face to face meetings. You can even pay for each meeting or telephone call at the time so you know you will not receive any further bills. You remain fully in control of when you receive advice and your costs. You can even call us from court to ask our advice.

We offer fixed rate interviews to help you complete the acknowledgement of service in divorce proceedings.

If you represent yourself in financial proceedings and reach an agreement with your spouse, we will draft the Consent Order for approval by the Judge.

Our aim is to be as flexible as possible to ensure you still have access to justice despite a highly limited legal aid system.

By Rebecca Woodley from the Downham Market office