We are still waiting for the order in our appeal to be finalised by the Court of Appeal but in the meantime we can confirm what the decision means in practice for women applying for family law legal aid.
The two year time limit on evidence
The list of domestic violence evidence set out in the legal aid regulations is no longer subject to a 24 month time limit. Any of the forms of evidence on the current list should be accepted by the Legal Aid Agency without any time limit as to when it was obtained or when it arose.
Evidence of financial abuse
The Ministry of Justice must add a form or forms of evidence to the list of domestic violence evidence which will allow victim/survivors of financial abuse to apply for family law legal aid. We are working with them to look at what forms of evidence are realistically available for financial abuse and will update you as soon as we have more information.
In the meantime victim/survivors of financial abuse applying for family law legal aid should submit any evidence they are able to obtain to show they have experienced financial abuse and ask the Legal Aid Agency to accept it. If they refuse, their decision can be challenged and you should seek legal advice.
We will continue to update on further developments.
If you have any questions about your eligibility for family law legal aid, call our advice line.