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change to legal aid,being withdrawn april!!!!

(30 Posts)
yummymommy1 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:49:07

anyone else panicking about this?
isnt this going to cause chaos?
i will need this for contact arrangments soon cut off date is 31 march - beware!

Collaborate Wed 20-Feb-13 17:24:00

Takes a few weeks to sort out getting a legal aid certificate in any event. will already be too late for many.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 21-Feb-13 00:33:09

Are they removing all legal aid for child contact issues apart from where proven domestic violence exists?

Or is it just some aspects of it.

Collaborate Thu 21-Feb-13 06:56:42

All. Completely crazy and will lead to chaos.

yummymommy1 Thu 21-Feb-13 15:46:02

I think its all, god knows where people will get £200 p/her for a solicitor? even fixed fee sessions ! Its crazy,am going to citizens advice bureau for help.

Collaborate Thu 21-Feb-13 16:26:10

I do CAB advice once a month and its really not much more than a pointer in the right direction. Each session lasts half an hour. The CAB is quite keen on the idea that it will advise someone about their rights, but not act for someone against another.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 21-Feb-13 16:42:22

Indeed it will. But it will stop wankers who like to drag ex's into court willy nilly for silly reasons just because they get it for free.

But its not good that it will stop people with genuine reasons.

wonderwoman2012 Thu 21-Feb-13 17:44:57

Did you know that as from last October any one found not guilty of a criminal offense will not get their costs back. Unless you are eligible for legal aid.

So the cps can wrongfully take you to court. A jury finds you innocent and you end up losing your house. Nice.

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 21-Feb-13 17:53:58

I though that everybody accused of a criminal offence was able to obtain free legal assistance.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 21-Feb-13 20:16:28

Wonderwoman - The issue, I think, is that anyone found not guilty can reclaim their defence costs, but they will get them back at the legal aid rate, which will often be far less than they actually paid.

Sockreturningpixie - Not necessarily. There is a means test and the interests of justice test.

wonderwoman2012 Fri 22-Feb-13 00:04:45

So will someone needing a restraining order for a violent/crazy ex partner get legal aid.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 22-Feb-13 00:36:33

There is no change to legal aid for domestic violence protection orders. The change is for legal aid for private law family cases, where legal aid is being withdrawn except for those cases where there has been domestic violence (what was being called, during the passage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, the "domestic violence gateway").

yummymommy1 Fri 22-Feb-13 18:27:20

well,no actual violence in my case so no legal aid,despite ex being an alcoholic & having mental health problem..

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 22-Feb-13 18:46:12

The definition of domestic abuse is quite widely-drawn. Have you had any advice about your eligibility?

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 22-Feb-13 21:26:17

If both parties would be eligible financially for legal aid when DV is an issue do both parties get it or is it restricted to the none abusive party?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 22-Feb-13 22:38:15

The 'domestic violence gateway' is for the person who has experienced domestic abuse. As that is - apart from the general exception for cases where it us necessary to supply legal aid to meet ECHR obligations - the only way to get legal aid in private family law cases, I can't see how the abuser would get legal aid. Their being financially eligible would be beside the point, as the case itself would be outside the scope of legal aid.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Fri 22-Feb-13 22:40:24

NB I am not offering legal advice here and anyone with concerns should consult a CAB or solicitor.

Collaborate Sat 23-Feb-13 00:11:56

Only the victim will get LA after 1st April.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 23-Feb-13 00:13:31

That is good, I had visions of the abuser being given it as well because the victim had been.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sat 23-Feb-13 08:50:19

No, there has never been an " equality of arms" arrangement that because one party gets legal aid, the other gets it too. Each party's eligibility is assessed separately.

Collaborate Sat 23-Feb-13 09:25:57

The travesty is though that it will lead to some victims of DV being cross examined by the perpetrators.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 23-Feb-13 12:48:51

I know of suituations were that happens now collaborate.

Comeintothe. I didnt mean that, I know there has never been that arrangement,I also know each party is assessed on there own household income,I just had visions of a circumstance where both parties on a low income could get legal aid due to DV, or that the abusive one (as I have know happen already) could do the lets drag out hearings lets be given much more leeway and more chances by a judge because "oh dear me she's legally aided has representation and I don't".

Interestingly going by my recent meetings at work,we have a very large number of clients who are actually waiting until after April to separate because they know the rules are changing and are concerned about stbex's using the courts to further abuse them and after then income means they won't be able to as they are the type of people who would only do it if its free.

BerylStreep Tue 26-Feb-13 20:06:29

Do you think that once this becomes widely known, the abusers will be quick to claim they are the one who has been abused?

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 26-Feb-13 20:41:01

There would be little point unless they could produce the evidence of abuse that the new rules require.

BerylStreep Wed 27-Feb-13 16:10:11

Oh, that's good to know. What sort of evidence is required? And is the legal aid limited to the actual DV issue - for example getting a non molestation order, or does it extend to wider issues, for example child access arrangements?

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