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Getting Legal Support

If you think your child or family might need legal support, here are places where you can find help.

You may need to find legal help because you are going through a divorce or separation, supporting your child through problems at school, raising a complaint about your child’s medical treatment or struggling with housing or financial issues.

Legal processes can be incredibly stressful, time-consuming and emotionally draining for you as a parent. At times, things may feel overwhelming or confusing, and if this is the case, you might need support to work out what the next step is.

Remember that you and your child are not alone – on this page, you can find organisations that can help you.

Accessing legal aid

Legal aid can help you cover the costs of a legal process. You may be able to access free advice, help with negotiations and paperwork and a lawyer who can get your case ready and represent you in court.

For information about qualifying for legal aid, visit the government website.

If you do qualify for legal aid, you can use the government's free legal advice service

Where can I find help?

Legal Choices

Provides online information about different lawyers and legal options available to you. 

Citizens Advice

Provides information and advice on issues such as divorce and separation, benefits, work, universal credit, debt, housing and immigration.

Webchat service available here.

If you're experiencing problems with debt, you can call their debt helpline or use their debt webchat service.

Phone: 0800 144 8848 (England)

Phone: 0800 702 2020 (Wales)

Opening times: 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday

Child Law Advice

Provides free legal advice about education and family issues to parents, carers and young people.

You can contact them by email about education law here, or about family and child law here.

Phone: 0300 330 5480 (family and child law)

Phone: 0300 330 5485 (education law)

Opening times: 8am - 6pm, Monday – Friday

The Scottish Law Centre

Provides legal advice on children’s rights and child law across Scotland - including around issues such as parent contact, education, health, social work and confidentiality. 

Phone: 0131 667 6333

Email: [email protected]

Opening times: 9.30am - 4pm, Monday - Friday

Family Rights Group

Provides support, information and advice to parents whose children are involved with, or in need of, social services because of safety or welfare concerns - as well as parents and relatives of children in the care system.

Phone: 0808 801 0366

Opening times: 9.30am - 3pm, Monday - Friday

Family Mediation Council

If you're going through a divorce or separation, or another family issue, a family mediator can help you find a solution that works for your whole family as much as possible, without going to court.  

You can use their directory to find family mediators near you.

Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

Provides legally based advice to help families get the right education for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

You can book an appointment with their Advice Line or Tribunal Helpline.

Enquire

Provides advice and information to parents and carers in Scotland if their child needs additional support for learning.

You can also use their webchat service or contact them via an online form

Phone: 0345 123 2303

Opening times: 1pm - 4.30pm, Monday - Friday

National Autistic Society

Supports people with autism and their families.

Their Education Rights Service can help with information about educational rights and entitlements, as well as with specific issues such as school problems, assessments and education plans. Leave a message on the 24-hour answering service and someone will call you back, usually within 3-5 working days. Or contact them using their online form.

You can also find details for other services, including an educational tribunal helpline, a school exclusion helpline and a parent-to-parent support line on their website.

Phone: 0808 800 4102

Shelter

Provides information and advice about housing and homelessness. 

Webchat service available 9am - 5pm on weekdays. 

You can access local support and advice here

Phone: 0808 800 4444

Opening times: 8am - 8pm on weekdays, 9am - 5pm on weekends

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