Legal aid is only available for divorce and finances cases if you can provide highly specific evidence that you are, or have been, a victim of domestic violence or abuse from your spouse or civil partner, and your monthly income is below a certain threshold. Please speak to our trained solicitors who can help you identify whether you meet the criteria.
The Legal Aid Agency define domestic violence as “any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other.”
If you are able to provide evidence of domestic violence or abuse you would then have to pass the financial and merits assessment. If you cannot provide one of the forms of evidence below then you will not be able to proceed with an application for legal aid.
You will need to show one of the following:
- The other person has been arrested for a domestic violence offence and the police are investigating or have charged
- The other person has a police caution for a domestic violence offence
- The other person is involved in criminal court proceedings which haven’t finished (i.e. are ongoing)
- The other person has a criminal conviction (or was bound over) from a court for a domestic violence offence
- The other person has been given a Domestic Violence Protection Notice by the police
- A court granted a protective injunction to protect someone from the other person
- The other person made a promise to a court not to hurt, harass or threaten someone, called an undertaking
- During family court proceedings a court has made a finding that the other person has been abusive or hurt someone
- An expert report prepared for use within court proceedings which says that the you are at risk of being or have been a victim of domestic violence from the other person
- A letter from a health professional who has seen injuries or knows you have a condition caused by the other person subjecting you to domestic violence or confirmation they have referred you to a domestic violence support organisation
- Evidence that a Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) has taken place because of the risk to you from the other person
- A letter from an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor or Advocate or Independent Sexual Violence Advisor or Advocate confirming they are providing support to you
- A letter from your housing officer confirming you have been, or are at risk of being, a victim of domestic violence from the other person, why they think that and what support they are giving you.
- A letter from your domestic violence worker confirming you have been, or are at risk of being, a victim of domestic violence from the other person, why they think that and what support they are giving you.
- A letter from a refuge confirming that you weren’t able to go to a refuge because of a lack of accommodation
- A letter from a public authority (social services) saying that you have been assessed as being, or at risk of being, a victim of domestic violence from the other person
- A letter from the Home Office confirming that you have been given leave to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic violence
- Evidence you have been a victim of financial abuse
Legal aid is available for mediation and your preferred mediation service will be able to provide you with specific guidance. It is dependent on your income, savings and assets.