What is Legal Aid and will I be eligible?
In England, family mediation legal aid is a form of financial assistance provided by the government to individuals who are unable to afford the cost of mediation. The legal aid is intended to help individuals who are going through a separation or divorce, have disputes over child custody or parenting arrangements, or have disputes over property or financial matters.
To qualify for family mediation legal aid in England, individuals must meet certain criteria, such as having a low income or facing financial hardship. They also have to provide evidence of their need for legal aid. These are set out below.
During the mediation process, the legal aid mediator will work with the parties involved to help them understand their legal rights and responsibilities and provide guidance on how to reach a fair and mutually beneficial agreement. The legal aid mediator will also ensure that the parties' interests are protected during the process.
Family mediation legal aid in England can be an effective way to resolve disputes in a less stressful and less adversarial manner, and it can help individuals who may not be able to afford mediation to access this important service and reach a resolution that is in the best interest of all parties involved.
To establish if you are eligible for legal aid for mediation, you can take a look at the Legal Aid Calculator www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid
If you would like us to assess if you are eligible for Legal Aid in your mediation assessment meeting (MIAM), you will need to bring certain documents as evidence along to your assessment meeting. This is important as we cannot assess you without them. Here is a current checklist of documents you will need to bring. Legal Aid Information of Clients current PDF.pdf – please note that you must bring paper copies, so that we can photocopy your evidence for our records; online or phone records are not sufficient. If you are unable to bring a paper copy, please contact us to arrange sending an email copy prior to your assessment meeting.
Please ensure that when you send in your benefits evidence it included the following information:
This is an example of a printout for Universal Credit:
If the assessment finds you are not eligible for Legal Aid, or if you are unable to produce the evidence needed to assess you, you will be charged our standard rates.
Norfolk Family Mediation Reduce Fee Rate for Those Below the Living Wage
If your income is less than the Real Living Wage and you are not eligible for legal aid, you could be eligible for our reduced fees. The mediator will follow the same procedure in assessing the income level as set out under the legal aid process above. If you feel this support is something you feel may be relevant, please raise this when you book the MIAM.
If you qualify for this support the cost of the mediation session for you will reduce from £180 to £120. That's a saving of £60.