What is Legal Aid funding?
- AuthorLiz Graham
Legal Aid is a type of government funding that can be used to help cover the cost of receiving legal advice. Chattertons do not take on Legal Aid cases, however, there are firms that do and a quick internet search should point you in their direction.
The general scope of Legal Aid has been significantly reduced over the past few years, which means that only a select number of people are actually able to claim this type of legal support, to cover some or all of someone’s legal costs. To qualify for Legal Aid, you would normally need to demonstrate that you are unable to afford the cost of traditional legal advice yourself and that the specific matter you need help with is covered by the Legal Aid Scheme.
Every case is different and needs unique attention to ensure the right outcome is achieved. As such our Family team work on an hourly rate basis, providing you with a cost per hour of their time. Thus the cost of every matter varies depending on the time required to act for you and complete the case to the high standard that we expect.
Fixed Fee Appointments
Our initial appointments are offered on a Fixed Fee basis, to provide you with an opportunity to set out your history and current circumstances to a qualified person who will then provide you with initial advice tailored to your situation. After your initial meeting, we can provide a more detailed estimate of your potential costs. We also keep you updated on costs throughout your matter and provide a schedule of costs each time we bill.
Fixed Fee appointments are a vital resource for anyone needing advice in relation to a divorce or separation, or arrangements for the children, or some kind of nuptial agreement. They allow you to best explore the options available to you and be provided with legal advice from a qualified source as to how you could proceed and what resources could be available to you.
What should I expect from a Fixed Fee appointment?
1. Questions: A fixed fee meeting will initially start with several questions from the legal adviser. It may seem a little invasive but it is important that these details are provided at the start of the separation process. This helps your advisor frame the situation, ascertain useful details about the other party involved and also who may be representing them. This will enable your lawyer to provide you with the best advice possible for your specific situation.
2. A forum for you to explain your current concerns: This is a forum entirely about you and your legal issues, so once the basic details have been noted your lawyer will ask you for details of your situation and any concerns you have. Family law is broad and every divorce is different, there are a spectrum of issues that may arise and this is where we can listen and anticipate possible issues in advance.
Often clients come to us having already agreed on certain issues with their partner (for example, where any children may reside) but will not be able to agree on other subjects, i.e., finances. Sometimes clients arrive at our door with incredibly volatile and contentious cases.
Our family team comprises lawyers with a wealth of specialist experience, who can provide the advice that you need to achieve resolution. All our lawyers are committed to resolving financial issues in a constructive and non-confrontational manner, but have a robust approach where necessary.
3. Follow up documentation: Your Solicitor will provide you will a follow up document confirming the details of the discussion. This document provides you with a written form of any advice given during the appointment, for example in relation to the divorce process and the documents that will need to be filed with the courts to process and finalise your divorce.
Clients leave a Fixed Fee appointment with a better idea of the process ahead of them, and although there is no obligation to do so, they often return to us for representation to progress their case, whether the next day or several months later.
Do Chattertons offer other types of funding?
Unlike in other areas of law, where payment agreements can be put in place, family law cases are not applicable to other methods of billing (such as deferred payment or 'no win, no fee' agreements).
Get in touch
We would be happy to speak with you should you have any further questions about how our Family law team could assist you. To speak to a member of our team, you can contact our offices in Boston, Bourne, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, London, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding or Stamford.
You can also ask a question to request a call back at a time that suits you by using our simple online enquiry form.