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Tayntons warn of divorce misery over Legal Aid cuts

PUBLISHED: 09:54 11 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:10 26 February 2013

Tayntons warn of divorce misery over Legal Aid cuts

Tayntons warn of divorce misery over Legal Aid cuts

Thousands of vulnerable people facing family breakdown could end up without legal representation in court because of planned changes to Legal Aid, say Gloucester solicitors Tayntons.

Tayntons warn of divorce misery over Legal Aid cuts

Thousands of vulnerable people facing family breakdown could end up without legal representation in court because of planned changes to Legal Aid, say Gloucester solicitors Tayntons.

The firm warns that, as from April 2013, Legal Aid will no longer be available for most family legal disputes including divorce and child custody hearings.

Exceptions will include cases of domestic violence and child care hearings.

The move will cut an estimated 350m a year from the 2.2bn legal aid bill and the Government argues that the changes will encourage more people into mediation and out of the courtroom.

But Tayntons family law solicitor Elizabeth Lacey says the move will leave individuals helpless and alone at a traumatic period in their lives and clog up an already over-burdened court system.

A lot of people just wont be able to afford legal fees and will be forced to represent themselves in court, unprepared and without professional advice, she said.

This could have very serious implications for individual litigants, especially if the other side can afford legal fees.

When you are in dispute over property and child custody, this could leave you in a very vulnerable and disadvantaged situation which could affect the rest of your life.

Certainly this will also slow the court down as the judge will have to spend extra time explaining the process to them which could easily double the length of the hearing.

When you consider that at the moment there is already a waiting time of at least two or three months to get a court hearing, you can imagine the chaos this will cause.

At Tayntons, we are looking at ways of offering fixed fee packages so that people can budget for their costs instead of the traditional hourly rate.

"We are already seeing the growth of divorce websites and low-cost, high volume products. That may make law much more affordable but it carries huge risks with it as well.

We believe that when you go into a court it is essential to have solid professional support, otherwise it could cost you substantially more in the long run."

Tayntons is a leading solicitors practice with offices in Clarence Street, Gloucester.

For further information, telephone 01452 522047, email info@tayntons.co.uk or visit www.tayntons.co.uk


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