5. Domestic abuse or violence

You might be able to get legal aid if you have evidence that you or your children have been victims of domestic abuse or violence and you can’t afford to pay legal costs.

You don’t have to get evidence before talking to a legal aid solicitor or Civil Legal Advice (CLA), but they’ll need to see it before deciding whether you can get legal aid.

What counts as domestic abuse for legal aid

You or your children must have been victims of either:

  • domestic abuse or violence
  • financial control, eg stopped from accessing a joint bank account

What counts as evidence

You’ll usually need to show that you or your children were at risk of harm from an ex-partner.

You can ask for evidence from:

  • the courts
  • the police
  • a multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)
  • social services
  • a health professional, eg a doctor, nurse, midwife, psychologist or health visitor
  • a refuge manager
  • a domestic violence support service
  • your bank, eg credit card accounts, loan documents and statements
  • your employer, or education or training provider
  • the provider of any benefits you’ve received

How to get evidence

You can download and print a sample letter to send to the police, courts, or medical and social services.

This helps you get the proof you need, depending on whether:

Give the letter to the person you’re asking to provide evidence. They’ll be able to fill in the details for you.

You might have to pay a fee for this.

When you have the evidence

Show the evidence to your legal aid solicitor or CLA adviser.