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On 1 April 2013, the availability of legal aid changed dramatically. In the following article, we set out a summary of the changes and the ways in which Lyons Davidson can help, including our fixed fee private child law services package.

Legal aid is no longer available for the following:

  • Divorce and/or financial issues unless there is a domestic violence element that can be supported by formal documents as evidence;
  • Contact and residence disputes where there have been no domestic violence or child abuse issues;
  • The Respondent to a domestic violence injunction.

Legal aid remains available for the following:

  • Child protection issues, such as proceedings issued by the local authority;
  • Child abduction;
  • Forced Marriage Protection;
  • Domestic violence injunctions;
  • Residence and contact disputes where there are domestic violence or child abuse issues – but prescribed evidence needs to be obtained to support this.

The changes mean that if you are a separated parent seeking regular contact with your child but there has been no domestic violence or child abuse issues, you will not qualify for legal aid.

At Lyons Davidson, we appreciate that specialist legal advice may seem unaffordable and as such unobtainable. On this basis, we are proud to be one of the first law practices in Bristol to offer clearly set out fixed-fee arrangements as an alternative to public funding as part of our Family Law services. They enable individuals looking for specialist legal advice about their family issues to access the same advice with the comfort of knowing exactly how much their legal fees will be.  The arrangements clearly set out the VAT and court fees payable, so there are no surprises.

In addition to the Fixed Fee Divorce and Financial Remedy packages, Lyons Davidson’s specialist Children and Domestic Abuse team Advoca are pleased to publish a private fixed fee private child law services package. This provides clear costs for the different stages of discussions and court proceedings. It therefore allows individuals to budget throughout the case without the worry of escalating costs.

If you would like to speak to a member of our specialist Children and Domestic Abuse team to discuss your case in more detail, please contact us on 0117 904 6000.