Legal aid cuts from April 2012 and how it affects Family law

August 30, 2011 11:45 am - Categorised in: ,

You may have read in the newspapers about the proposal to cut Legal Aid from April 2012 in relation to family law services such as divorce and separation, children issues, and property and financial issues.

This proposal is going to have dramatic consequences for many couples in conflict. So, you may be thinking … how am I going to afford my divorce or separation without legal aid?

Do not despair … Ellis-Fermor & Negus solicitors have options available to you.

From April 2012 all couples hoping to divorce or separate will be offered the opportunity to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).  During the meeting a lawyer mediator will assess the suitability of your case for Mediation and provide the names of Mediation Organisations who could assist you in resolving family problems outside of the Court process.  Legal Aid will remain available for Family Mediation so, you will also be assessed for eligibility during the meeting. 

Mediation is not a Counselling process.  It is an opportunity for you to resolve your own property, financial and children matters (if there are any) in a safe and secure forum with the support of a skilled Mediator, thus reducing the amount of  time lawyers need to spend acting on your case, or your behalf.

If you are NOT eligible for Funded Mediation then Ellis-Fermor & Negus may be able to offer payment plans and arrangements to suit your financial needs.

Mediation is the most cost effective way of resolving disputes and issues arising on Separation and Divorce and many couples have already discovered its benefits long before the Legal Aid changes were announced. 

The alternatives to Mediation will be the traditional route of representation by solicitor and the involvement of  the Courts.  Or the most recent Collaborative approach to resolving issues.

Read more about Collaborative Law and Mediation on this website.  Whatever your decision we are here to help.

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