As of 1 April 2013 Legal Aid was withdrawn from most Court Applications for divorce and separation.
It has been removed from: Divorce Petitions
Help with filing a divorce petition and representation if necessary if the divorce became defended.
Disputes to sort out the financial arrangements on divorce.
Children Act Applications
Contact, residence, specific issues, prohibited steps, financial applications for children.
Legal Aid will remain for the following limited circumstances provided you qualify based on a financial means test:
- If there is a risk that your children will be placed in care
- If you are facing a forced marriage
- If you can prove you are the victim of domestic violence
Legal Aid has also been withdrawn from the initial Legal Help with Mediation. Previously Legal Aid solicitors were paid to provide initial Legal Help and refer people to Mediation. Now people will have to self-refer to Mediation or solicitors will have to refer them for free.
The financial limits to qualify for Legal Aid for Mediation have been increased. The capital disregard has been reduced to £100,000.00. Full details can be found on the Legal Services Commission website.
It is predicted that there will be a large increase in litigants in person and that this will create further backlogs in the Courts.