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Gurney Harden solicitors recently announced that they are now able to offer legal aid in their family department. Legal aid is not automatically available but is dependent on assessment of certain criteria.

Public law proceedings

If you are a parent and have been informed of potential care proceedings by social services then you should be eligible for legal aid. If you believe this has happened to you can contact Gurney Harden. as soon as possible and they will book you a consultation with the family department. Your solicitor can act for you on an urgent basis in some circumstances. They can also assist and provide advice where social services are involved with your children.

Private law children and divorce matters

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012 provides that legal aid can be offered in these types of matters where there are relevant documents confirming there has been either domestic abuse or there are child protection issues.

If you believe you have suffered domestic abuse in a relationship and require assistance then you can contact Gurney Harden and they can ascertain whether you are eligible. They can also provide you template letters to forward to relevant agencies so they can provide you the information you require.

Domestic abuse applications

If you believe you are still suffering domestic abuse then you may be able to apply for a protective order via the family courts to stop your partner coming into contact with you or coming to your home. If you are in fear for your safety you should contact 999 and ask for the Police.

Child Protection examples:

• A letter from a social worker confirming there is a child protection plan in place.
• An arrest for a child abuse offence
• Police caution or conviction

In this article we have tried to summarise the current legal aid guidelines for family however if you are unsure if you qualify for legal aid then you can call Gurney Harden.

Telephone 01233 624488.
www.gurneyharden.co.uk

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