This guidance aims to ensure that only those who are eligible for advice and assistance receive it.

You can only provide advice and assistance if you have satisfied yourself your client is eligible. Your client is considered financially eligible if their disposable income and capital (and that of their spouse or partner) is within the limits set by the regulations. You must have regard to our guidance when assessing eligibility, in accordance with the regulations.

This guidance has been prepared through consultation with the Law Society, the Family Law Association and APIL and individual solicitors.  It sets out approaches consistent with existing good working practices in many firms, and with legal aid authorities in the UK and beyond.  It should help you do this with the least bureaucracy.

The guidance should not act as a barrier to access to justice nor penalise you if you  have acted in good faith. We have attempted to identify difficulties you may encounter and how to address such situations. Comments are welcome on any areas you feel were not covered.

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