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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you Offer Free Half Hour Initial Appointments?

As a non-profit making law firm we keep our prices as low as possible.  Our rates are typically less than a third of other law firms.  As such we can’t offer free appointments as this would mean that we would have to increase our hourly rates which would make things more expensive for everyone.

Q. Can I get Legal Aid if I come to you for advice and/or Representation?

No, we don’t offer advice and representation under Legal Aid.  Whilst you may be entitled to Legal Aid, depending upon your personal circumstances, Affordable Justice is  set up specifically for women who cannot access Legal Aid and need an affordable alternative.

If you are entitled to Legal Aid we recommend you make enquiries with a law firm who do have a Legal Aid contract and will be able to help you.

Q. Why do you only offer Legal Services to Women?

We are a non-profit making law firm based at the Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull.  We opened as a direct result of the huge cuts to Legal Aid eligibility which had a severe impact on women accessing family law services, who depend on Legal Aid much more than men do. We are also a registered charity.  For all of these reasons we only offer legal services to women.

Q. Do you Offer Services to Women in the Hull/East Yorkshire area only?

No – we provide advice and assistance to women who live anywhere in England and Wales. To date we have supported women in more than 100 locations across England and Wales.

Q. I am not able /don’t want to meet in person. Can I have appointments  with you without having to come into your office?

Yes, we offer appointments remotely – either by way of telephone appointments or appointments by video calls such as Zoom.

Q. I have young children in my care and do not have anyone to look after them.  Can they be present during my appointment?

We have a policy which means that we are not able to speak to clients about sensitive issues whilst there are children present, including when appointments take place remotely.  However, we do have a purpose built nursery located in our building and subject to availability, we can offer free creche during your appointments with us.

If you are having a remote appointment with us we can offer appointments later in the day when your children are in bed.  This should ensure that you can speak freely with us without worrying about your children overhearing anything that you want to discuss with us.

Q. My situation is very complex.  Can you arrange for a barrister to represent me in Court?

Yes – we frequently arrange for a barrister to represent our clients where their situation is complicated or the hearing is lengthy.  We have established relationships with various chambers in your local area. To arrange for you to be represented by a barrister we  usually obtain the availability and cost estimates of any suitable and available barristers and send these to you so that you can consider your options and confirm which barrister you would prefer to work with.  We would then require you to pay the relevant fee to us to enable us to book the barrister and prepare a detailed brief to them. 

Please note that where a barrister is instructed on your behalf, we would generally not take part in any Court hearings where you are represented by them. It is therefore important that you make your instructions to the barrister extremely clear, that you are fully aware and understanding  of the outcome of any hearing, and that you carefully record any important dates, actions and any agreements.

Q. Can I enter into a payment plan to pay you for my legal fees?

As a non-profit making, charitable law firm we do require payment up front for your initial appointment and work you have instructed us to undertake such as corresponding with your ex-partner/ the Court. 

However, if you then opt for us to undertake further work on your behalf at some point in the future – for example if you instruct us to represent you at a hearing in say two months’ time or to prepare an Application to the Court in six weeks’ time – you can provide us with regular payments (e.g. weekly payments) up to the date that further work is required on your behalf. We assess this on a case by case basis.

Q. This is my first time seeking legal advice and I feel anxious that I don’t understand the process. Will you explain it to me?

Many women come to us because they do not feel comfortable with traditional law firms. We know approaching a solicitor can be a daunting and costly process. Our staff will always make sure you are welcomed and informed, and answer your questions clearly and to the best of our ability.

Q. I am not confident in my English. Can you provide an interpreter?

Yes, we use interpreters where your first language is not English and where the use of an interpreter means that the consultation is longer than it would usually be. We pay for the interpreter. In these circumstances, we discount our service so that you are not charged more than a woman whose first language is English.