In 2017, people who needed legal aid to pay for an application to court for an injunction to protect them from an aggressive partner, or to protect a child from an abusive parent, must produce evidence from a very limited and specific list. That evidence can’t be more than 5 years old.
This has led to many cases where the abusive behaviour happened a while ago and perhaps the abusive parent hasn’t had contact with the child, but then decides over five years later to apply for a Child Arrangements Order to see the child.
If the parent with care of that child can’t afford legal advice, they would have to defend those proceedings by representing themselves.
This could lead to them having to face their abuser in court and even be cross-examined by them.
From the new year 2018, there will be no five-year time limit, and for the first time, evidence can come from a victim support organisation.
Cunningtons welcomes this move by the Ministry of Justice. As one of the few firms who still offer Legal Aid in family law cases, we believe is access to justice for all.