/ Divorce / Legal aid

Can I get legal aid for a divorce in Northern Ireland?

Legal Aid may be available to assist with divorce proceedings in Northern Ireland, in limited circumstances. 

Legal aid applications can take 6 months or longer to process.

Bear in mind that if you receive money after the divorce as part of a financial settlement, you may have to pay the legal aid money back.


This guide outlines general topics you should be thinking about if you want to get a divorce in Northern Ireland. But it is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should contact a specialist divorce solicitor for advice on your specific circumstances.

Can I get legal aid for my divorce?

Legal aid can be available for divorce proceedings, but it will depend on your circumstances.

In order to qualify for assistance, you will have to show that you meet the financial requirements for civil legal aid in Northern Ireland.

(You can find more information about civil legal aid here.)

Applying for civil legal aid is a slow process – you should be prepared to wait at least 6 months, or even longer, for a decision on your application.

If you are granted legal aid for your divorce, the money you get is subject to what’s known as a “statutory charge”.

This means that if your financial circumstances change as a result of the divorce (for example you get money or property as part of a divorce settlement), you could have to repay the legal aid you received.

If the costs involved with a divorce are posing a problem for you, you should ask a divorce solicitor whether you might be eligible for legal aid.

They will be able to advise you whether or not it is a realistic option for you.

The above article is part of our guide on how to get a divorce in Northern Ireland.

If you are thinking about getting a divorce, you should get in touch with a Northern Ireland specialist divorce solicitor who will be able to provide advice tailored to your own personal circumstances.

If you have any questions, you are very welcome to get in touch.

All the best,

The Team @ Lightlaw
Every effort is made to keep this guide up to date. Although it is not to be regarded as legal advice, we strive to make sure the information is helpful, accurate and practical. If you are a Northern Ireland divorce solicitor and have spotted an inaccuracy, you can submit a suggested change.
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