Family Law

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When Christine came to see me at Kenyon Son & Craddock, the first thing she said was, ‘I think I’m wasting your time.’

She went on to tell me that she had separated from her husband over a year ago because of his violence towards her and she very much wanted to be divorced, so she could finalise financial matters and move on with the rest of her life. She’d heard, though that Legal Aid wasn’t available any more and she couldn’t afford to pay privately for a divorce and financial settlement. She had tried to fill in the forms herself but because she was so upset about the way her marriage had ended she had given up.

I was able to explain that Legal Aid is still available for victims of domestic abuse and that it sounded as though she would be eligible. I worked out that Christine was financially eligible for Legal Aid and then helped her to approach her GP to obtain the necessary evidence of domestic abuse. When that came back from the doctor I was able to sign her up for Legal Aid to apply for the divorce and then to sort out a financial settlement. I was able to reassure Christine that if her husband started to threaten her again then I would be able to apply for a non – molestation order to protect her.

Legal Aid isn’t available for all cases any more (and you may have to repay your Legal Aid if you receive property or a lump sum) but Kenyon Son & Craddock assess every client to see if they may be eligible and even if they are not we will try and work out a package for them to make our costs affordable. Our aim is to make instructing a solicitor possible for as many people as we can.

 

Rebecca Kershaw

Family law

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