Unless specified, this information relates only to England and Wales. If you live in Scotland, go to Parenting across Scotland for information and advice. If you live in Northern Ireland, go to NI direct.

If you are eligible for legal aid, you may be able to get some free and confidential legal advice. Legal aid could also help pay for family mediation.

Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice, family mediation and representation in a court or tribunal.

  • your case is eligible for legal aid
  • the problem is serious
  • you can’t afford to pay for legal costs

You could for example get legal aid if:

  • you or your family are at risk of abuse or serious harm, e.g domestic violence or forced marriage
  • you need family mediation
  • you’re at risk of homelessness or losing your home
  • you’ve been accused of a crime, face prison or detention
  • you’re being discriminated against
  • you’re adding legal arguments or bringing a case under the Human Rights Act

Family mediation is an alternate to lengthy and often costly court proceedings that come with a divorce or separation. Family mediation offers the chance for an independent person to assist both parties and help them to reach an agreement without going to court or using a solicitor. For more information on mediation visit our “What is mediation” page.

You may have to pay some money towards the legal costs of your case.

While you go through mediation, you may also be entitled to some free legal advice from a solicitor. Your mediator will assess this and tell you whether you are eligible for free legal advice from a solicitor. Find a solicitor in your area.

For free legal advice on children’s issues, Coram Children’s Legal Centre may be able to help you. They provide free legal advice factsheets and an online search assistant. Follow the links below for more information.

Their Child Law Advice Line provides free legal advice and information on all aspects of family, child and education law affecting children and families. Their specialist legal advice is available to children, their families and carers, and family support professionals. The free Child Law Advice line number is 0808 802 0008, and it is open 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Get legal advice

You can still get legal advice to help you with your case, even if you choose to represent yourself in court.

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