The need to provide access to justice for all members of the community is a core principle of the Linwood Law team. With this in mind, a new Legal Aid Family and Employment Law service was launched in February 2017.
Legal Aid is Government funding for legal help where the client cannot afford to pay. Affordability is based on a formula assessment and your eligibility will depend on a combination of your income and assets. Most legal aid clients are required by law to pay the first $50 towards their legal fees. Some clients will be required to pay back their grant of aid to the Ministry of Justice but this is assessed on a case by case basis and again is dependent on your income and assets. To see if you might be eligible visit the Ministry of Justice website.
If you are not sure, call Linwood Law and ask for a referral to the Legal Aid team who can help you with the application process.
The services offered by the Legal Aid team include all family law matters – paternity, adoption, parenting orders, guardianship, custody matters where the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki, (“MVCOT”) have become involved with families, child support, domestic violence (protection orders) and relationship property (including contracting out agreements or “pre-nups”, and relationship property separation agreements). Where necessary the Legal Aid team can work in with the other teams at Linwood Law to provide a wrap-around service for our clients. We also have a working relationship with a diverse range of social services and support providers.
If you have issues with your employment, Legal Aid is available for employees. However, it is not available for employers. The team does undertake private work for employers on request.
Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS)
FLAS is an alternative to Legal Aid for disputes involving parenting or guardianship matters where there is no immediate risk of harm or hardship to the child/ren and therefore filing for Orders may not be appropriate at this stage. Funding is available for eligible persons in two parts.
Part 1: Initial consultation with a lawyer. This consultation will cover the client’s legal rights and responsibilities and their legal options in terms of the next steps they may take to resolve their dispute.
Part 2: Help in filling out court forms (whether a party is making an application to the court or responding to an application made by the other party).
FLAS is government funded and there is no requirement of repayment. To find out if you are eligible visit the Ministry of Justice website.
If further advice or legal action is needed following these matters you may have to pay privately unless you are eligible to apply for Legal Aid.