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Legal Aid tell me I will pay e700

  • 16-01-2023 4:51pm
    Registered Users Posts: 9

    I have not had the best experience of my local Legal Aid office. Every interaction I've had, be it in person or letter, makes me feel like less of a person.

    At their reception desk one lady spoke to me at the top of her voice about my coercive control situation. I had to point this out to her and she said that there was no one in the office even though I could see someone sitting at a computer behind her. I felt like a second class citizen.

    All other written letters have made me feel like I've done something wrong 'you haven't..., you didn't, however you ...'. I might add that they have been very unclear about what extra information they require writting in a extended wordy style. I would go so far as to say that their written English is not good. There is generally a snooty air to their letters. The last day I went into the office there was no eye contact and the usual 'you can't this and you didn't that'.

    Now I'm told that I will pay e700 as my contribution (Ihave to assume they mean towards a legal separation as they didnt specify what it was towards). I didn't know anything about contributing - I thought (obviously mistakenly) it was 'free legal aid'.

    Given the fact that I'm less than impressed with their customer service so far, I'm wondering if I should be using my energy a bit more wisely by seeking out a solicitor who fully understands non-physically violent coercive control.

    Each time I deal with Legal Aid I feel less of a person. I have qualified but haven't been in for an interview yet so don't know if they will even take me on. I dread meeting them. It has so far been the worst feeling I've had on this messy journey and that probably includes from my husband. I thought Legal Aid was there to help, not judge and make you feel inferior.

    So I'm just wondering if anyone else has had such an experience? Or if anyone knows a solicitor in North West who genuinely understands the subltle nature of coercive control.

    Thank you.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 17,694 Mod ✭✭✭✭Henry Ford III

    I'd guess a solicitor would be a whole lot more expensive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,732 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    here is a detailed explanation of the contribution - see link including a calculator.

    there is a process where you can apply to have the contribution waived, with specific criteria on who can qualify. have a look, see if that applies to you.

    You mentioned you thought there would be no cost to you, but that is clearly only certain services that do not require a contribution. as the x files say 'there information is out there'. There appears to be the option to pay in installments which might suit you.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Yes, the "feeling less of a person" is a common feeling among many/most people who endure the inhumanity which is our taxpayer-funded family law system. It't not restricted to the LAB. I'm absolutely certain that on their website they state, explicitly, that it is not free. It's lower cost:

    It's remarkable anybody in Ireland can get Legal Aid as the annual income limit hasn't changed since 2006: anybody with a disposable income of more than €18,000 per annum is not eligible for Legal Aid. A tiny portion of Irish society has access to Legal Aid.

    I'm paying almost €400 per hour for my solicitor- and it still took them over a week to respond to my last, quite straightforward, request. The whole family law system is bogged down, and neither Helen McEntee nor anybody else in government gives a damn. Indeed, it must be clearly stated that 23% of all our legal fees goes towards the Irish State which maintains the ethical abomination which is the family law system of the Republic of Ireland. The family law and family courts' system is a monopoly service provided at monopoly prices with the absence of all the customer service which only a monopoliy can get away. I mean, paying this State 23% tax to provide a highly secretive, intentionally slow and egregiously inefficient family law system which does nothing but extend suffering in families is low-hanging fruit for a human rights case against Ireland. For all the millions the Irish State receives for funding the family law system, it continues to fund a system which, through its delays and secrecy most especially, indisputably and directly exacerbates the suffering of Irish citizens.

    You will get crap service in the family law courts of (the Republic of) Ireland because you, like the rest of us, are one of the modern-day "fallen" people. Divorced people, single parents, "illegitimate" children - join the club. This is a FFFG-maintained system, created for us, the crap fallen people. With our taxes! Did you really think the old conservative order - our very own Papist taliban - just went away when Oliver J. Flanagan and their ilk croaked it? It's right here in the unreformed family law courts of the Republic of Ireland in all their secrecy and delays. All the unbridled contempt for the fallen people is bristling out of the culture of the family law system, and the secretive judgments of the family law courts, in Ireland in 2023. Don't expect compassion - your suffering is a commodity for the legal industry, and the Irish State will allow the entire process to be as drawn out, elongated, secretive and vindictive as the legal industry's financial interests dictate. It is as simple as that. The TDs who should be defending your interests on Oireachtas committees on the family and justice - well, sorry, they have to appear in their constituency for a photoshoot or otherwise their constituency rival could get the seat in the next election so that family law reform can wait because the elected TDs have abnegated all their rights to reform irish family law.

    Why, it's almost as if the entire family law legal industry in Ireland is dependent on being utterly inefficient, unnecessarily time-consuming, intentionally drawn-out, predictably formulaic, rooted in an emphasis on "process" rather than efficiency, and hiding behind verbal obscurantism and esoteric terminology which is entirely designed to avoid transparency and justice and, you guessed it, keep fees high. Why, it's almost as if the entire family law system in Ireland is being run for the benefit of the legal industry! Next, the government will allow them to self-reguiate and keep competition out! Oh, what do you know: that's precisely what is done in Ireland in 2023. FG/FF TDs really are fifth-columnists in Irish society by their steadfast refusal to end the family law courts and system being held hostage to the needs of the legal industry. The State needs to be sued - more money for the lawyers in this rigged system - directly for its recurrent breach of political, civil and human rights via its maintenance of the current family law system in Ireland. Once this State legally maintained industrial schools and Magdalene laundries, and people turned a blind eye. Now, it maintains this travesty which is the secretive and intentionally snail's pace family courts and the same sort of odious little mentalities will make excuses for it today, while future generations will condemn it.

    So, yes, buckle up: Irish family law is your Hotel California which will ensure that, while you can check out anytime you like from the marriage, they will financially persecute you if you want to legally leave the marriage. Pay enough to the protection racket, and you can get out - but you'll still have to serve the time and endure all the delays which the family law system is set up to perpetuate.

    PS: More constructively, you should drop over to Clarke's pub in Phibsboro on Monday 13 February at 8pm when the next Talk2Us meeting is on. There will be 20 or 30 people there to help you to progress your divorce on your own. Ring any of the three people here and they'd be glad to help you:

  • Registered Users Posts: 91 ✭✭Ladybird37

    Hi Op,

    Sorry to read your thread. I hope you get sorted, it spund very frustrating. May I please ask how long you were waiting for to get quailification?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 Birdland

    I think I applied in September and eventually got a phonecall from a solicitor towards the end of February.

    I found the application process to be quite overwhelming. I found the staff to be best = cold, worst=rude. I kind of felt that I was a beggar asking for handouts. A bit of outreach work wouldn't go too far wrong especially around domestic abuse (staff speaking very loudly about your situation where the whole office could hear). Customer service was not something I experienced.

    That said, when I did meet the solicitor in person she was very nice, all over me etc. However, she has more or less told me to go away, do the mediation and come back to her. Despite her kindness, I was, and still am, totally confused as to what the process for separation/divorce is and could still not tell you the steps that I'm supposed to be doing. Maybe they're all overwhelmed with workload. All I know is that I have to pay €800 as my contribution. I would have appreciated some kind of handout to explain the steps, court dates, etc

    I hope you have a good experience on your route. I would say just draw a breath, allow for the fact that they might keep writing letters to you saying you haven't supplied every part of the information etc. Their tone is quite officious but just they just need all their ducks to line up correctly, I think.

    Good luck with it all.

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