Legal Aid – Family & Children

  • Separation
  • Divorce
  • Mediation
  • Children
  • Property & Money
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Injunctions
  • Child Care Proceedings

Humfrys & Symonds are contracted with the Legal Aid Agency to provide advice on family matters under the Legal Aid scheme.

LEGAL AID AND DIVORCE OR SEPARATION

If you are a victim of domestic violence and are divorcing or separating from an abusive partner, you may be able to get Legal Aid to help with divorce proceedings or matters such as child contact or sharing money or property.

You can find out whether you might be eligible for Legal Aid at Legal Aid for Victims of Domestic Violence and at Legal Aid Checker.

LEGAL AID AND FAMILY MEDIATION

If you are on a low income or receiving benefits may be able to obtain Legal Aid for family mediation. This means that if you are getting a divorce or splitting up with a partner, and are in dispute with them about children, money or property, your fees to the mediation provider to help you and your partner to reach an agreement will be paid for you. Your mediator will assess whether you are eligible for Legal Aid when you attend the initial Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting. If only one of you is eligible for Legal Aid, the fees for the first information session (MIAM) for the other person will be paid by Legal Aid.

For guidance (not a decision) on whether you could get Legal Aid, click here.

Mediation offers people a chance to talk together and come to an agreement regarding their children, their money and their property, without going to court. This can help to reduce the emotional, as well as the financial cost, of separation and divorce.

You can find a family mediator close to you by calling National Family Mediation on 0300 4000 636 or visiting National Family Mediation.

LEGAL HELP DURING MEDIATION

If you are eligible for Legal Aid, you will also be able to access some free legal advice whilst you are in mediation (called Legal Help) though a solicitor who has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency, like Humfrys & Symonds. Or you can opt to pay for more detailed legal advice, on a fixed fee basis, which we can also provide.

At the end of mediation, if both parties reach agreement, a document can be drawn up known as a ‘memorandum of understanding’, that sets out the outcome of mediation, but this is not legally binding. An application can be made to the Court to convert it into a Court Order, which is legally binding. Humfrys & Symonds can undertake this for you, free of charge if you are eligible for Legal Aid.

WHAT IF YOU’RE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL AID?

If you are not eligible for Legal Aid, the mediation sessions and any legal advice you may need are both available on a fixed fee basis through Family Mediation, so you still have the reassurance of knowing exactly how much it will cost to achieve the right outcome for you and your children.

To find out how mediation could work for you, visit National Family Mediation.

LEGAL AID AND CHILD CARE PROCEEDINGS

Legal Help, in the form of advice, attending meetings or writing letters, may be available to parents dealing with Social Services regarding child care issues, subject to means testing.

If Care Proceedings start, parents are automatically entitled to be represented free of charge under Legal Aid, with children being represented separately by a solicitor also paid for by Legal Aid.

Our solicitors are highly trained and experienced at giving advice and representing parents in child care matters, including the most complex child care proceedings.

WHO WE WORK WITH

Legal Aid Agency

Humfrys & Symonds’ skills and standard of service in all areas of family law have been recognised by the Legal Aid Agency, which has awarded us its Specialist Quality Mark - your assurance that we provide a full range of family law services to the highest standard.

National Family Mediation

A National Family Mediation. The scheme offers both mediation and legal advice on a fixed fee basis, so that you know in advance exactly how much it’s going to cost to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with your partner about your children, property and other financial matters involved in the divorce or separation, and to make it legally binding.

Any of our Family Team solicitors, including Beverley Bradshaw, Anna Tay-Lodge and Huw Jones, can advise and work with you through Mediation Herefordshire to help you achieve the right outcome.

Resolution

Anna Tay-Lodge is a long-standing member of Resolution - an organisation that promotes an approach to family law that is sensitive, constructive, cost-effective and most likely to result in an agreement. The principles set out in Resolution’s Code of Practice are recognised by the Law Society as best practice for all family lawyers.

Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC)

Our Head of Family Law, Huw Jones, and Anna Tay-Lodge are both members of the Association of Lawyers for Children, an organisation dedicated to developing the skills and practice of lawyers to best meet the needs of children who become involved in legal processes.

Law Society Family Panel / Law Society Children Panel

Our highly experienced team includes members of the Law Society Children Panel and Law Society Family Panel. To achieve these accreditations, our solicitors will have shown, to the satisfaction of the Law Society, that they have and maintain a high level of knowledge, skills, experience and practice in the area of family law and children law, including representing parents and children in child care proceedings brought by the Local Authority.

FIND OUT MORE

Our family solicitors have a wealth of experience they can bring to even the most difficult cases, and their expert knowledge and understanding approach will help you to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children.

Call our Family Department on 01432 276276 if you need legal advice on the break-up of a relationship, and would like more information on how we can help you.