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How can legal representation be afforded in Children cases

How can legal representation be afforded in Children cases is a an issue parents must address before the first hearing according to Cheshire Family law solicitors Stonehewer Moss. A children case involving children being taken from their parents by the Local Authority is not the subject of this blog, as parents are able to obtain legal aid no matter what their means. For other children cases between parents, whether to sort out arrangements for the parents to look after them or for financial orders, the following methods of funding can be looked at:-

  1. Legal Aid remains available if the other parent has conducted themselves in a way that falls within the definition of domestic violence and you are of low means. Only solicitors with a legal aid contract  can arrange this funding, so enquire with the solicitor before visiting their office if you believe you may be eligible;
  2. In rare cases it is possible to seek lump sum orders under Schedule 1 to the Children Act that will be ear marked to fund a child arrangements case.  A realistic approach needs to be taken to such an application, with an assessment of the likely ability of the other parent to be able to pay and circumstances existing that will justify the court in exercising discretion in favour of the order.
  3. Funding out of court settlement, possibly with the use of arbitration or mediation. The latter still has means tested legal aid even without domestic violence. Solicitors may offer reasonable fixed fees that you can control for steps out of court such as letters and round table meetings, while arbitration funded  on a fixed fees agreed with the arbitrator is binding ( unlike mediation) and can be the subject of agreement to fund between parents who do not want to risk an outcome before an unknown judge.
  4. If at Court, the option of funding has to take account of the prospect of the court throwing the burden of paperwork on you if represented while the Applicant represents himself. A fixed fee agreed with your solicitor should include that cost and it is also possible to agree an unbundled service, whereby you pay for certain steps without the solicitor fully being on record. Solicitors will seek to limit responsibility if not fully instructed and an option is to instruct a barrister using the direct access scheme.
  5. Accept the generosity of your family to pay for representation. They will probably be relieved not to listen to stressed out calls while you deal with it yourself and half the purpose of representation is to put someone else in the firing line when in court. Your family, if in your ear as to what to do should be politely asked to put their money where their mouth is; the alternative of having them support you in court may work for some but for other it should suggest a cash donation. McKenzie friends in court should not be too personally involved, so close family could be excluded.

How can legal representation be afforded in Children cases, here are five reasons that should help you make a fist of it.

For advice negotiation and representation in Child arrangements cases in Cheshire please call 01606 872200  e mail visit


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