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Legal aid is rare but not extinct

Eleven months on and there still appears to be a number of grey areas when ascertaining what clients are and are not entitled to, says Simon Dakers

27 February 2014

As widely reported, as part of the government's efforts to cut the Legal Aid bill by £270m, April 2013 saw the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) come into force. This brought with it a dramatic change in relation to the rules surrounding who would and wouldn't qualify for legal aid in family and matrimonial cases.

The new funding structure means, in essence, that legal aid is generally no longer available for divorce cases, disputes over assets following the breakdown of relationships or private law Children Act proceedings, leaving many in need of help to cover legal fees with nowhere to turn. This means that anyone seeking a residence or contact order for their children or grandchildren, a divorce or to resolve financial affairs, is probably not eligible for legal aid.

The new, more stringent requirements and changes...

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