We’re pleased to announce that we have launched a new Legal Aid service to help local families achieve justice and fair settlements, especially in matters relating to children.
The move follows government cuts of £1 billion to the Legal Aid budget over the last five years, which have made it increasingly difficult for people on low incomes to get the advice they need from a solicitor, often at times when they are at their most vulnerable.
Children at the centre of parental disputes or care proceedings are among the worst affected.
Hasan Hadi, Managing Director of Southgate Solicitors, said many people can no longer afford professional help and have to deal with the complexities of the court system on their own, often to the detriment of themselves and their children.
“Trying to navigate the legal system and then putting their case forward in court before a judge can be very difficult. There are a lot of things to consider – applications, cross-applications, the legal criteria for a court order, the issues the court must consider, where to find information and so on.
“Many people resort to reading up things on the internet, which may not even be correct, and ultimately taking positions which do nothing but mean a child is perhaps not seeing one parent as much as they should be or are in a situation where there are ongoing arguments and disputes which have an impact on the child, which is exactly what the family law system is designed to prevent.”
There has already been a high level of demand for our Legal Aid service. We’ve received a lot of requests for advice on all family matters, including injunctions, children issues, finances and divorce, and ‘public law’ matters, such as when a local authority is involved with a family.
Hasan added: “All our solicitors are committed to social justice and ensuring that legal services aren’t just for those who can afford it. We all have experience of legal aid and most of us were trained in a Legal 500 legal aid firm and we are keen to bring that expertise to our firm as well.”
If you would like more information or advice about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of family law please contact our expert legal team on 0208 004 0065, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the form below.