Family and Legal aid; What the changes mean for you.

Family and Legal aid; What the changes mean for you.

17th April 2013

As of April 2013, the availability of Legal Aid for family law matters has been significantly reduced. Unless you are unfortunate enough to be able to show that domestic violence has occurred, people who would have previously qualified for assistance will almost certainly no longer do so.


At BTTJ, we understand that, regardless of the cost, family proceedings are sometimes inevitable. When it comes to moving on after a divorce or a separation, or issues regarding the care of children, we know that people sometimes cannot simply choose not to act because of the cost, but instead are likely to carry on, without the specialist advice they could use.

We have looked at our fees for family matters to see how we can help. We are not a family legal aid firm, and so we wanted to ensure that we could maintain the same high quality service that we have always provided to our privately paying clients, whilst extending this service to make it more accessible for people who would previously have qualified for legal aid.

To this end, we have introduced the following measures;

  1. Free first consultation
  2. Competitive fixed costs for divorce proceedings
  3. Competitive fixed costs for representation at Court
  4. Customised payment options, including instalments


After a divorce or separation, there will be various issues to resolve. Hopefully, an agreement can be reached, and we are experienced at helping to facilitate this. However, sometimes people simply cannot agree, and when that happens we are able to help with proceedings. We can help you reach the right outcome in relation to;

  1. What happens to your house?
  2. What happens to your savings, and your debts?
  3. What happens to your pension?
  4. And any other financial issues there may be. We understand every case is different.


When it comes to your children, the Court will only get involved when it has to. Again, we would hope to help you agree something with your former partner, however, when it is necessary to involve the Court, we can help you obtain Court orders for a wide variety of things, such as;

  1. To determine with whom a child should live
  2. To determine what contact, if any, the non-resident parent should have, and when and where that contact will take place
  3. Any specific issues that needs to be dealt with, including; where a child should go to school, what religious upbringing a child should have, whether a child can leave the country etc.


The firm has over 20 years experience with helping people in these situations. Our current team comprises;

  • David Hawley, a partner in the firm and an experienced family law practitioner.
  • Melanie Timms, a trainee solicitor with experience of both children and divorce matters.