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changes to legal aid in april.????!

(9 Posts)
yummymommy1 Mon 18-Feb-13 14:56:54

Anyone know much about this? I may need
Access to it at some point,any point
Registering before April with a solicitor
? Just to be sure...?

sanityseeker75 Mon 18-Feb-13 15:12:23

Not a huge amount and I do not think it matters if you register with a solicitor before hand anyway.

It is basically to stop resident parents stopping NRP from contact by dragging through courts without genuine reasons for stopping contact. It will mean more involvement from mediators before court and could mean more involvement from CAFFCASS and the like before cases are taken to court.

The main exception will be cases of DV - where this has been documented by authorities the RP would (as long as the fit into financial restrictions) will still be able to claim legal aid.

Huge amounts of money are paid out in legal aid by RP wanting to stop contact for insignificant reasons and often cases are resolved before the final court hearing.

I think the theory is it puts both parents on equal footing from a financial point of view (but in reality probably not) and forces a more amicable situation for split families (can't see how).

yummymommy1 Mon 18-Feb-13 21:16:53

OK that's helpful thanks.who knows what will happen next year when new legislation also comes in to help dads get more equal access, when there is no one to represent the mother in court, ?!?

PirateHat Mon 18-Feb-13 22:45:21

Thing is RP and NRP are not on an equal footing to start with because as the NRP doesn't have the children living with them they are free to work whatever hours they want. The RP doesn't have the same earning potential as they have the children more and often pays for all the childcare.

It's to save money imo, not about fairness.

sanityseeker75 Tue 19-Feb-13 09:49:55

I agree that in reality it will probably not be fair. It makes things difficult and puts the children more than anything at a disadvantage.

Thing is RP and NRP are not on an equal footing to start with because as the NRP doesn't have the children living with them they are free to work whatever hours they want I agree with this also and my Ex has never been interested in childcare or education or had to take a day sick because DS has had to take time off school and even told me once that the maintenance (£3.75 a week) was paid out of his own pocket (think he thinks everyone else has magic maintenance fairy) - told to me when DS was in hospital due to severe asthma attack in which ex did not respond for 2 days when I let him know and then asked me to leave the hospital so he could pop in and see him!

On the other hand my DH has now been to court 3 times in last 9 years and spent thousands because his ex says his kids don't want to see him and stops all contact when she does not get her way. He pays over CSA amount and always has done but because she didn't work she had no problem dragging through solicitors and court and each time contact was increased and it was agreed before the final court date so that court ended up being a formality(now we have EW access and half holidays). She has often sent solicitors letters claiming some sort of abuse but the children strongly deny this and always say that they want to come.

I think the real problem is that whilst there are both RP and NRP that can use the children as weapons and not consider the DC best interests that there will never be a fair system in place that can support those that really need it.

ChocHobNob Tue 19-Feb-13 17:16:34

That is true PirateHat, but on the other hand, the NRP is less likely to qualify for legal aid as he has to work full time to keep a roof over his head, whereas his ex will more likely qualify for legal aid as she is legally regarded as having dependants and may be a SAHM or working part time. So it was commonly Litigant in Person NRPs up against legally aid funded RPs with solicitors in court which also isn't fair.

Now both sides are in the same boat without the legal aid.

yummymommy1 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:41:59

i guess, but feels a bit scarey all round as no safety net and aloytof people are rushing to solicitors before cut off date of 31 march, i cant as you have to leave 3 months between solicitors , after file closed with one, and as its worked out i dont think i will get there in time!im not sure how many ppl realise this is happening or hownit couod affect them.

SuperGlumFairy Wed 20-Feb-13 22:00:42

I get CTC and CB and just been served with a divorce petition, I can't get Legal Aid anywhere as no one is taking any cases and subsequently am going to have to pay out nearly 200/per hour for my solicitor. I don't currently work (new to the country) and have 100% care of 3 children, I am guessing I am also going to be hit with a share of the mediation costs too. I am gutted largely because I need to move house (privately rented, no Housing Benefit) when our lease is up here at the end of April. This is house is just too small. My kids sleep on mattresses on the floor in their rooms as the bed frames won't fit. My eldest's room is so small she can't even shut the door with her mattress being in the way sad There is mould growing all over my youngest kids bedroom window, and in the corner of their room, mould in the bathroom on the ceiling due to poor ventilation, our kitchen is stupidly tiny. I just don't think I will be able to afford to move at the end of the lease if I am paying out for all these legal fees that my STBX deems necessary to do right now sad

yummymommy1 Thu 21-Feb-13 15:43:41

:-( I'm going to try going to the C.A.B. for some advice have you tried that? the solicitors are still seeing people until 31 march,you might get lucky,just be quick!

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