This is serious! Legal aid for almost everything is going from 1st April, this means that unless you are in the system now, there is a strong possibility that you could lose out.
I appreciate that making a decision to end a relationship shouldn’t be based upon this fact but it should be a consideration for those thinking about it. Why? A spouse who would qualify for legal aid upon separation could still secure a certificate to enable him or her to fund their litigation if applications are being made now.
It may be that their spouse has a good income and there are some assets which require some negotiation or a pension that needs investigation to enable a sharing order to be made. But after April it will be necessary for that individual to fund their own litigation which could mean that corners are cut in an effort to save costs.
An investigation of the pension may not be done which could end up with inequality in retirement despite the parties best intentions.
Parents who cannot afford litigation could end up prejudiced as those with money are able to dictate proceedings with the other unable to obtain legal advice. This could be in proceedings for residence and contact.
Legal Aid will still be available for those seeking help with mediation and for those victims of domestic violence, but for the vast majority of others, it will not be available. To see more detail on this please see my Firms blog.
We need to get the message out!