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Legal aid eligibility for a Polish woman (British father child support)


carrie655
18 Dec 2011 #1
I have been asked to assist a polish woman in obtaining child support from her child's father who has British citizenship.I don't want to go into detail but it may be a tricky case and the woman will probably need a solicitor. The woman works sporadically and I believe that she gets working and child tax credits, the child has a British passport.

Obviously I have been in touch with a local solicitor but there are no appointments available until after New Year. The woman is panicking and it's not a nice situation for her over christmas. What I need to know is whether or not this woman is eligible for legal aid if needed? Can anyone tell me or direct me to a website that can give me this information, my written Polish is not great so preferably one that has both languages. The legal aid situation seems to be worrying her most, so if I can at least give her some hope of legal aid it may relieve her worries until we can meet with the solicitor. THE WOMAN KNOWS AND CONSENTS TO ME POSTING ON THIS SITE.

Thank you for any help you can give.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
18 Dec 2011 #2
tell her to go the Child Support Agency. They have a website. She does not need legal aid or a solicitor for child support. You cannot chase a man through the courts for child support in the UK.

Good luck with that.
OP carrie655
18 Dec 2011 #3
Thanks for this, I have the relevant form but for some reason she feels she will need legal helpin obtaining the child support, can't go in to detail I'm afraid, thanks for the help though.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
18 Dec 2011 #4
It is hopeless in the UK Carrie, really. I believe in other European countries like for example Poland, you can take the other parent to court with your own solicitor, and your friend might think it is the same here.

But it's not. You have to use some stupid ineffective (or is that ineffectual?) agency, who might sort it out by the time your kid is 18. Or not.
southern 75 | 7,096
18 Dec 2011 #5
from her child's father who has British citizenship.I don't want to go into detail but it may be a tricky case

Probably muslim married with another woman.
pam
19 Dec 2011 #6
rozumiemnic is correct. its very rare in uk these days to go to court for child maintenance. child support agency ( csa) is the way to go, but this will take time. as regards legal aid( for anything, not just child support ) it is means tested. you can generally only get it if you are on a very low income. hope your friend will be ok.
OP carrie655
19 Dec 2011 #7
Thanks Pam and Rozumiemnic I will explain this to the woman concerned. She may be eligible for Legal aid by what you say Pam,Once we've got the relevant form sent off we can review the situation depending on the outcome. I think she will be relieved to know that there is a possibility of legal aid.

Just a quick note to Rozumiemnic. a few years back my ex and I shared residency of our two children, one week with him one week with me, as my ex does not care to work the CSA had ME banged to rights for child support within three weeks so THEY CAN MOVE WHEN THEY WANT TO!!!! lets hope they assist this woman .

Thanks again
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
19 Dec 2011 #8
truly amazing Carrie, I have been on to them since my kids were in Year 3, they are now in Year 8 and CSA haven't squeezed a penny out of him.;(
pam
19 Dec 2011 #9
CSA haven't squeezed a penny out of him.;(

i never got a penny out of my sons father, even though we were together 7 years. when i told him i would be applying for csa, the response i got was....i am working for a friend now. i will just get him to lie as to what my earnings are on the forms.( he also got paid cash in hand},knew i would be fighting a losing battle before i had even begun. i did enquire about taking him to court, but although i wasnt at the time on a good income, it was still too high for me to be able to get legal aid. theres no justice is there :)
OP carrie655
20 Dec 2011 #10
i never got a penny out of my sons father, even though we were together 7 years.

That's really bad for you and Roz, the CSA were really hard on me, threats that I would be taken to court etc...... and that was 3 weeks after my ex contacted them, I hadn't even objected to paying for the weeks he was with them!! I can't understand the way things work here, one law etc....It was the same with legal aid, the ex wanted full residency but me and the two boys wanted shared residency, I had to pay all my own legal fees bar £500 during the court case for residency and the ex got legal aid!

Fortunatly I won the case but still had to pay solicitor's fees etc... Have to say the legal team kept costs to the bare minimum and often 'forgot' to charge me for advice, some solicitors ARE HONEST and do want the best for their clients! The only explanation my solicitor had was that they were trying to come down hard so that other women would realise that they had to pay child support if necessery or that they wanted to claw back money because he didn't work!! Never fails to horrify me how people get sh-- if they try to the right thing but wasters get away with everything!

The woman I am assisting is relieved to hear that she may be eligible for legal aid but hopefully it won't come to courts etc.... Hope you do get some justice about this both of you but at least we can all hold our heads up and say we supported our kids!
pam
20 Dec 2011 #11
i hope she does get legal aid, so at least she wont have to worry about costs, but am not up to date on earnings limits for legal aid entitlement. will have a look and see what i can find out on internet, but that probably wont be simple...uk is notorious for ridiculous amount of red tape. you can never get straightforward answer to anything!
Ant63 13 | 410
20 Dec 2011 #12
Good luck on the legal aid. It takes months if you are a decent, non criminal human being. If you are a crim it's instant almost. What they actually do is play it out to the point that you either stump up yourself or give up all hope. That's my partners experience anyway.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,857
20 Dec 2011 #13
Hope you do get some justice about this both of you but at least we can all hold our heads up and say we supported our kids!

thank you Carrie, and Happy Christmas xx I hope your friend gets it sorted.
Bernard
4 Jan 2012 #14
If the person in question is self employed then you will have a hard time getting a penny from the CSA or the courts for that matter. As they say here CSA is the way to go if he is employed,... if they do nothing you may forget about it.
pam
4 Jan 2012 #15
had a look on internet, but no really straightforward answers. type into google, legal aid. scroll down till you come to website direct.gov.uk. sorry but really tired. think this will probably be best place to start. hope this helps
Ant63 13 | 410
4 Jan 2012 #16
If you can get a maintenance order in Poland, I believe it may be possible to get this enforced in the uk using brussells II. This states a country should uphold a ruling from another country regarding decisions over children. Worth a try.
Harry
4 Jan 2012 #17
Yes, one will almost certainly get a Polish order enforced in the UK. As for trying to get a British order enforced in Poland: well, you can try in, probably your judge will like a laugh as much as the next 24-year old with no experience at all.


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