Legal Aid

There is a government-funded scheme for legal aid to provide legal advice  and representation in Court for people who cannot afford to pay for it privately. The scheme is run by the Legal Aid Board  and is means-tested, that is, you must be earning or receiving less than a certain amount of money to qualify for legal aid. The Legal Aid Board also runs the Family Mediation Service.

Legal aid is available for family law matters such as legal and judicial separation, divorce, and to agree custody and access arrangements for children, as well as agreeing maintenance.

Legal aid under the scheme is not free. People who use the scheme are asked to pay a contribution to their legal costs.

Means Test

On your application, you will be asked to provide details of your income and any assets or savings you have. If you own a car, you are asked to provide the make and year.

You will also be asked to provide detailed information on your expenses and outgoings. These will include rent or mortgage, childcare costs and any maintenance paid at the time of your application. You will also be asked to provide details of any loans or other debt you may have.

How to Apply

The application form can be printed out and posted to the Legal Aid Board, or you can apply online.

To apply online you will need  to have certain information to hand as listed here.