Family law and legal aid are tricky, just as any kind of significant laws are. Even if you’re not handling it yourself and are getting Legal Aid Solicitors to take care of the tricky parts, you still need to be aware of the basics if you want to stay safe and avoid making any serious mistakes. After all, the law can be just as dangerous as it can be useful, and you don’t want to be caught accidentally lying about your situation.
There isn’t one type of family law
Family law covers a lot of different specific situations, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all linked together. There are different laws for dealing with divorces and separations when compared to problems like forced marriages or child abduction, and they aren’t all handled in the same way. Even if the process seems the same to an observer, the family law specialists work hard to make everything legally correct and put all of the right documents in order.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to determine which kind of law you’ll be dealing with. A good example is child sexual abuse and child abduction: they might be similar, but they aren’t treated as the same thing when it comes to the legal side of the matter.
Legal aid is meant for legal purposes
Legal assistance usually comes in the form of money that goes towards the costs of critical legal matters. This could be used to help you get legal advice, make it easier for you to appear in court, or even as a way of enabling family mediation. However, that doesn’t mean that the money or other benefits are given to you so that you can misuse them, especially since you often have to be desperate for the money to receive it anyway.
Legal aid is usually granted under some particular circumstances, such as under threat of homelessness or when you’ve been accused of a crime and can’t afford to pay the legal costs. It enables people to get a fair trial and reliable legal representation, so you should never try to use it for recreational or personal matters.
Parental responsibility carries weight
If you have parental responsibility, meaning that you’re expected to care for at least one child, then getting legal aid becomes much easier. This might only be something as small as getting free legal advice when it comes to your representation in court, but it can make a big difference if you’re struggling to balance the legal costs and responsibilities with those of your family life.
Family law cases that involve children (either Private Children Law or Public Children Law issues) will sometimes give you more significant types of legal aid since the child that you’re responsible for is also related to the case. This could also be the case with legal problems that involve multiple children.
Family law covers multiple bases
As a whole, family law has to be covered by numerous legal aid solicitors due to how wide and broad it can be. For example, there may be a single team that covers cases of Female Genital Mutilation and another that exclusively focuses on Physical Abuse, even if the two could technically be considered similar in some situations. Every legal case is different, and the niche laws that they involve mean that an expert can be out of their depth in another.
You don’t need to worry too much
The point of any legal aid solicitors and similar companies is dealing with legal problems, not you. You don’t need to stress over your own lack of knowledge, even though it might help to have an idea of what’s going on. Talk with whoever is offering you advice and make sure you fully understand the situation but don’t feel like you have to become an expert in law in your own time: legal aid is meant to get around that problem and handle the hard parts for you.
Whatever the case, and however serious it is, you’ll usually be able to receive some kind of legal aid when family law is involved. Check all your options, and be honest when asked for details – you can’t make mistakes if you have proper legal support and advice to back you up.