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We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents

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Getting legal help

For detailed step-by-step advice on everything from benefits and tax credits to childcare and your wellbeing, sign up for the email reminders in our guide to separation.

There are some situations when it is important to get legal help and advice. Some examples could be if you are separating and need to sort out finances, if you could lose your home through repossession or eviction, or if either you or your child is in danger or at risk of being harmed.

If you need legal advice it should always be given by a qualified person who has professional liability insurance, but it can be difficult to know how to find this help.

Some services are free and some will charge. It is important to check this before you receive advice. Public funding for legal costs is known as legal aid. It has become more difficult to get legal aid, and it only covers certain types of legal problems. You generally need to be on a low income to qualify.

The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline cannot give legal advice, but this factsheet gives you details of organisations that can give legal advice or help you find it.

The list of agencies that can provide advice and the help to pay for it changes often; this factsheet is correct as of May 2017.

The Family Mediation Council have produced a guide called ‘When do I need to go to court?’. This can help you to decide if you will need to go to court, or can avoid the court process completely.

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