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No more legal aid for divorce and family cases

(108 Posts)
Batteryhuman Mon 15-Nov-10 19:26:17


So that would be women who get it in the neck in the interests of saving money again

MollieO Mon 15-Nov-10 19:41:40

Funding for mediation is unaffected though, isn't it? And for cases involving dv.

wubblybubbly Mon 15-Nov-10 20:52:29

So are we going back to the good ol' days where only the rich can afford to divorce?

As Battery says, what about all those women who have no income because they stay at home to raise children? They've got to stick with philandring men, alcoholics, mentally abusive/controlling husbands, unless they've got a bit of cash put by or are beaten?

And exactly what criteria will be required to be eligble for legal aid due to domestic violence?

Perhaps they'll be recommending wife selling for the poor?

Every time I think they can't do anything worse, they surprise me all over again.

bubbleOseven Mon 15-Nov-10 20:57:12

Disgusting - why don't the government just say


I'd have more respect for them if they just admitted it, hell, i'd even vote for them again if only they'd just admit it.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 15-Nov-10 20:57:16

I feel very uncomfortable about this, sneaked in the back door again.

The conviction rates for DV are so poor that there is really no protection for women now to be able to keep their violent partners out of theirs and their childrens' lives.

If this was done in parallel with sorting out the dreadful rates of conviction for domestic violence, abuse, rape and child abuse then maybe, but don't be so patronising as to say that women and children will be protected "when they are at risk"

It smacks to me again of a policy that is not really thought through in terms of the impact on women and children.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Nov-10 20:58:43

I think it's now a very bad idea for women to be SAHPs, tbh.

bubbleOseven Mon 15-Nov-10 21:02:51

Yet again the middle classes will be hammered.

The only people to benefit from living in this country are people on benefits or the filthy rich. The other 90% of us will just have to lump it.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Nov-10 21:04:45

Um, bubble, people on benefits will no longer automatically qualify for legal aid, either.

WhyHavePets Mon 15-Nov-10 21:08:39

WTF shock

Shit, so when my (high earning, dual income) ex takes (low income, single parent) me back to court again for full residence I am going to have to self represent??

And that is not the worst potential repercussion for my family [shit, shit, shit]

This is the first time the cuts have actually genuinly scared me. No LA for family cases is potentially dangerous sad [angry

EnnisDelMar Mon 15-Nov-10 21:11:45

This is just dreadful.

BaroqueAroundTheClock Mon 15-Nov-10 21:17:47

oh great. I currently qualify for legal aid, exH still qualifies for legal aid even though he's working (low wage still).....hope the court bloody well hurries up and does what it's supposed to be doing otherwise we'll be screwed. Stuck married to him for f*ck knows how long.

mrspickles Mon 15-Nov-10 21:20:33

Awful dreadful, creates the most enormous inequality and penalises women. Women are much less likely to have access to funds in a divorce to hire a lawyer.

Wellwasi Mon 15-Nov-10 21:22:59

Isn't the idea to get people to go to

And people can self-rep in court and save themselves a fortune.

mrspickles Mon 15-Nov-10 21:23:03

I'm also concerned that it may encourage people to make false domestic violence allegations as divorce and private contact cases with domestic violence allegations will be the only cases eligible for legal aid. Good that trying to protect victims but could be taken advantage of.

wubblybubbly Mon 15-Nov-10 21:28:23

Of course you can self represent, but I wouldn't fancy my chances up against a shit hot lawyer on the other side. Would you?

huddspur Mon 15-Nov-10 21:29:33

If you try and self-rep against a qualified lawyer then you're toast. Not sure where I stand on this though

Wellwasi Mon 15-Nov-10 21:32:49

It was the advice from wikivorce, avoid solicitors. Fortunately my split was amicable so we didn't use solicitors.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Nov-10 21:33:43

This just sends the message to women to not bother marrying and never, ever become financially dependent on a man sad.

wubblybubbly Mon 15-Nov-10 21:38:26

My DH and his ex wife did their divorce themselves, they didn't even need to appear in court (it still cost a few hundred quid), however, there were no children, no property settlements and no arguments.

I think that is uncommon in most divorces.

WhyHavePets Mon 15-Nov-10 21:38:30

Wewllwasi, that is great, for a simple enough divorce.

What about all of us who are in family court for real nasty cases, not DV but other, equally or more terrible things?

Basically there is now way I will be able to safegaurd my child. The independant reports alone in the last court case cost £6000. Where on earth would i find that? If ex takes me to court I have to prove he is still unsuitable to have contact with my child. he can take me any time he likes, as often as he likes. He can afford representation. I can't.

Where the fu*k does that leave my child? I know i am not alone, there are many of us out there fighting a bit more than who gets the 4x4 and the ironing board hmm

Wellwasi Mon 15-Nov-10 21:38:41

I think not becoming financially dependent on a man is
A great idea and one I'll encourage my daughter to follow. And like wise with my DS don't be dependent on anyone.

LadyBlaBlah Mon 15-Nov-10 21:40:16

Wouldn't a better approach be to cap /reduce solicitor's fees. I think the price of a solicitor is outrageous.

vesela Mon 15-Nov-10 21:40:23

I'm horrified at this (and some of the other legal aid cuts).

I wish we (i.e. Lib Dems) could stop going on so much about tuition fees and start focusing more attention on serious things, like this.

legostuckinmyhoover Mon 15-Nov-10 21:49:15

undoubtedly it will lead to a two tier system [of course with the tories it always does].
thing is with mediation is that you cannot force your ex spouse/co-habiting partner to go. So, if they don't go, then you have no means/or way, to get things [contact or finances or what ever] sorted out...unless you pay a solicitor or go to court. yes, a lot of people will find themselves and their families stuck.

i wonder how many people will 'use their own means' to try to get what they want instead of going the legal route now? this is a bad move for everyone.

vesela Mon 15-Nov-10 21:55:54

LadyBlaBlah, or as this guy in the Guardian comments suggests, make the courts behave more efficiently/capping expert fees.

"...the government should be looking to make budget cuts first by reforming the courts. Courts routinely waste huge amounts of a legal advocates' time by listing a case hearing and then making them sit outside court waiting at court all day - sometimes 2 days - for their case to be heard. All advocates' time has to be paid for, when the court requires their presence.

Secondly the Ministry Of Justice could reduce costs in many sorts of legal aid casework by putting a cap on expert fees. Experts typically bill for reports at a figure which is 2 to 3 times the hourly rate billed by the solicitor conducting the case. An inspection of the costs of a typical childcare or a community care case can reveal that between a third to half the costs of a case are taken up in expert fees."

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