The Ministry of Justice has announced that the time limit for domestic violence victims to produce evidence in order to qualify for legal aid is being scrapped in January 2018.

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.  


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Cunningtons LLP in Great Square and Tofts Walk in Braintree, Essex, is the head office for Cunningtons Solicitors across the UK. Established in 1748, the Braintree head office in Great Square is still in its original offices. This amounts to almost 300 years of Experience and Tradition.

The Senior Partner at Cunningtons’ Braintree office is David Drake. Paul Fenton is the Joint Managing Partner. He, along with Johanna Withams are the residential conveyancing partners at the Braintree practice. They are supported by qualified Solicitors and Licenced Conveyancers.

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