Humfrys & Symonds are contracted with the Legal Aid Agency to provide advice on family matters under the Legal Aid scheme.
LEGAL AID AND DIVORCE OR SEPARATION
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and are divorcing or separating from an abusive partner, you may be able to get Legal Aid to help with divorce proceedings or matters relating to children or assets.
You can find out whether you might be eligible for Legal Aid with the Legal Aid Agency Calculator. This is both a means and merit eligibility test. (Weblink)
LEGAL AID AND FAMILY MEDIATION
If you are on a low income or receiving benefits you may be able to obtain Legal Aid for family mediation. This means that if you are getting a divorce or splitting up with a partner, and are in dispute with them about children, money or property, your fees to the mediation provider to help you and your partner to reach an agreement will be paid for you. Your mediator will assess whether you are eligible for Legal Aid when you attend the initial Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting. If only one person is eligible for Legal Aid, the fees for the first information session (MIAM) for the other person will be paid by Legal Aid.
For guidance (not a decision) on whether you could get Legal Aid, click here.
Mediation offers people a chance to talk together and come to an agreement regarding their children, their money and their property, without going to court. This can help to reduce the emotional, as well as the financial cost, of separation and divorce.
You can find a family mediator close to you by calling Talk Mediation in Hereford on 01432 344666 Website: talkmediation.co.uk (weblink) or through the National Family Mediation (NFM) (weblink_
LEGAL HELP DURING MEDIATION
If you are eligible for Legal Aid, you may also be able to access some free legal advice whilst you are in mediation (called Legal Help) though a solicitor who has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency, like Humfrys & Symonds. Or you can opt to pay for more detailed legal advice, on a fixed fee basis, which we can also provide.
At the end of mediation, if both parties reach agreement, a document can be drawn up known as a ‘memorandum of understanding’, that sets out the outcome of mediation, but this is not legally binding. An application can be made to the Court to convert it into a Court Order, which is legally binding. Humfrys & Symonds can undertake this for you, free of charge if you are eligible for Legal Aid.
LEGAL AID AND CHILD CARE PROCEEDINGS
Legal Help, in the form of advice, attending meetings or writing letters, may be available to parents dealing with Children Services regarding child care issues, subject to means testing.
If the Local Authority issue Care Proceedings, parents are automatically entitled to be represented without incurring fees as the Legal Aid Agency will cover a parents costs, with children being represented separately by a solicitor also paid for by Legal Aid.
Our solicitors are highly trained and experienced at giving advice and representing parents in child care matters, including the most complex child care proceedings.
FIND OUT MORE
Our family solicitors have a wealth of experience they can bring to even the most difficult cases, and their expert knowledge and understanding approach will help you to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children.
Call our Family Department on 01432 276276 if you need legal advice on the break-up of a relationship, and would like more information on how we can help you.