I am unemployed receiving job seekers allowance and have legal aid for a divorce Ancillary Relief hearing in Exeter next month. It will cost me about £150 to travel to the hearing and stay a bed and breakfast over night. Does anyone know if the legal aid will cover my travel expenses to the hearing? If not, do you know whether the job centre or any other body will cover the travel expenses as I simply cannot afford it on my JSA and the wife and children are in Exeter so it will not be reasonable to transfer the case to Newcastle where I live?
Thank you for your reply but in the case I don''t think the court will agree to transfer the case as my wife has little children and it will be very invonvenient and more expenseive for her to travel with 4 little children and stay overnight to attend a court near me. I am thinking of asking my lawyer to conduct the case without me but to have me on standby by telephone in case the judge or other party wishes to ask me questions.
It is possible for your solicitor to claim your travel expenses from the Legal Services Commission and pay these to you but I have only seen this occur in cases involving child care involving the Local Authority.
I have also seen crisis payments being made by the benefits agency to cover such expenses. However, this is the sort of situation that nobody wants to take responsibility for so you have to make yourself heard.
Ask your solicitor if they can obtain prior authority from the LSC to meet your travel expenses to attend court. This might launch your solicitor into action.