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Extra support announced for litigants navigating the family courts

The Ministry of Justice has announced that around £4 million will be awarded to charities and organisations providing legal help this financial year – an increase on the £3 million provided in previous years.

For people who do go on to represent themselves in civil and family cases, the support will focus on resolving their legal problems at an earlier stage with access to specialist legal guidance in person, by telephone or online, to deal with the problem before it escalates.

Grants will also fund services to help people through the court process, including online guides and in person support on the day of their appearance.

It follows the government's proposals for two million more people to have access to legal aid following changes to the means test. Both income and capital thresholds will be raised, while disputed assets will not count towards an applicant's threshold, benefiting victims of domestic abuse.

The department is partnering with the Access to Justice Foundation (ATJF), who will administer the funding, with expressions of interest now open to organisations.

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