Legal Aid for divorce is becoming very difficult to get. If you have a low income you might be eligible for legal. Your divorce solicitor will be able to tell you if you do and help you make a claim.
Getting help with divorce costs
It is a commonly held assumption that legal aid is a gift from the nice people who run the country. In certain instances this may be so although not usually when someone is getting divorced. A certain amount is exempt but payment can be, and very often is, deferred by placing a charge on a property which will be recovered at a later date.
Legal aid should really be seen as an interest free loan from the Legal Services Commission and needs to be repaid. Your divorce solicitor will be able to tell you if you are entitled to claim but be aware that not all law practices handle legally aided divorce cases.
Legal aid can play a big part in the proceedings around the divorce settlement. The actual divorce is usually a relatively straightforward and not too expensive procedure.
Who is most likely to get help with the costs of a divorce?
A common scenario is for one of the parties getting divorced – usually, but not always, the wife – to be in receipt of legal aid because she may be at home bringing up children or in low paid or part time work, and for the husband to have to pay his own divorce costs as he is in a full time occupation. In such instances, the party in the divorce who is not legally aided cannot usually recover their costs from the other, even if they are successful, as would normally be the case.
Conversely, if the legally aided party in a divorce wins, then he or she can ask for, and receive, costs from the loser, hence putting the legally aided spouse at a considerable advantage whichever way you look at it.
If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, have no dependent children and can agree finances between you and your soon to be former spouse you can save money on solicitors fees if you manage your own divorce. We have a divorce guide containing all the information you need.
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