Legal Aid 2023: Extending the Scope of Family Law Funding


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On 2nd May 2023, positive changes were made to Legal Aid, whereby the areas of eligibility were expanded in family law cases.

Legal aid in England is a government-funded scheme that provides financial assistance to individuals who are unable to afford legal representation and advice. It aims to ensure that everyone has access to justice, regardless of their financial means, albeit within certain areas of law only. Legal aid helps individuals with various legal issues, including those related to family law, criminal law, immigration, housing, and welfare benefits.

Before 2nd May 2023, Civil Legal Aid was available in limited areas of family law including:

  • Child Protection: Child Protection case are those involving child protection issues, such as care proceedings and disputes over child arrangements.
  • Domestic Violence: Legal aid may be available for victims of domestic abuse, including obtaining protective injunctions like non-molestation orders and occupation orders.
  • Divorce and Separation: Legal aid may be provided for individuals who meet the eligibility criteria in some cases involving divorce or separation, particularly when there have been issues of domestic abuse or risk of child abduction.
  • Child Custody and Access: Legal aid can be available for cases involving disputes over child custody and access arrangements, including child arrangements orders and specific issue orders.
  • Child Abduction: Assistance may be provided for cases involving international child abduction, where a child has been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the country.
  • Forced Marriage Protection: Legal aid may be available for cases related to forced marriage protection orders or other legal remedies related to forced marriage.


Legal Aid 2023 Changes to the Scope of Eligibility

A number of new areas of eligibility have been put in place for Legal Aid (2023) in private family law. The changes align the financial eligibility requirement for cases covered by public family law cases with the following situations:

  • Prospective guardians who are applying for Special Guardianship Orders in private family law proceedings.
  • Individuals who have parental responsibilities and are responding to applications for Special Guardianship Orders.

Moreover, these new areas of eligibility also include Placement Orders and Adoption. This significant and welcomed change will alleviate the financial burden of fees for many involved in family law proceedings, enabling them to address their matters more effectively.


How can ARC Costs Assist?

ARC Costs understand the significance of the Legal Aid 2023 changes to the scope of eligibility in family law cases.

Our Legal Aid Costs Draftsmen and Costs Lawyers assist solicitors in the recovery of their Legal Aid costs. We regularly use the CCMS system to submit legal aid costs claims and deal with all the administration on behalf of our clients and to free up the time of fee earners, thereby ensuring you can recover your maximum legal aid fees in an expeditious and efficient manner. 

Contact us today to discuss your query further and obtain further guidance from an independent expert. You may contact us on 01204 397302 or email one of the team at



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