What documents do I need for legal aid?

Legal Aid funding is available for certain family law disputes, in some circumstances, where there is evidence of domestic violence or a risk of domestic violence.  The same can apply for evidence of child protection.  This is known as “gateway evidence” as per regulations 33 and 34 of LASPO.

You need to be aware that even with “gateway evidence” you will be subject to means and merits testing.  Your legal advisor at NLS will tell you what financial documents you also have to provide.

Child Protection

If there has been no history of domestic abuse but there has been a history of child abuse concerns, involving the proposed respondent, you may also be able to get legal aid for these types of family law disputes.

To come within this regulation, you must be able to provide evidence in one of the following forms. The evidence must confirm that the proposed respondent is a risk to the child/ren of the family.

  1. Children services letter confirming Child Protection Plan
  2. Prohibited steps order
  3. An unspent or spent conviction for child abuse
  4. On-going criminal proceedings for child abuse
  5. Formal caution letter from the police


Domestic Abuse

If there has been any occurrence of domestic abuse in your relationship with the associated person, legal aid may be available.  There is no longer a time limit on when such domestic abuse occurred.  However, you must be able to provide evidence in one of the following forms.

  1. Protective injunction such as Non Molestation Order, Restraining Order or Undertakings.
  2. Letter from an independent domestic abuse or sexual violence organisation such as Refuge or Woman’s Aid.
  3. Letter from a health professional, such as your GP confirming that they have examined you and assessed your injuries/ psychological stress as being consistent with domestic abuse.
  4. Letter from an expert service such as; CAFCASS.
  5. Letter from a multi-agency such as; police, social services, health visitor, MARAC
  6. Police caution (for the proposed respondent) for domestic violence or criminal proceedings which have not yet concluded or criminal conviction for domestic violence or police bail for domestic violence.

With this evidence, you may be entitled to legal aid for a private family law dispute such as child arrangements order, Specific Issue Order, or divorce.

The above evidence is guidance only. Should you have other forms of evidence not listed, please call us and we would be happy to discuss this with you, along with all other evidential requirements.

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