A close up of a lady in conversation at a table

A guide for parents Legal support

If you think your child or family might need legal support, use our guide to find out where to get help and how to access legal aid.

When you might need legal support

A man and woman sit in a room listening to something

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 ‚Äď 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.

    Opening times:
    9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday
  • Child Law Advice

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

    You can also contact them using this online form.

    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. 

    Opening times:
    9.30am - 4pm, 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.

  • POhWER

    Provides mental health advocacy services, and information and advice about advocacy - including for children and young people in inpatient care. 

    Opening times:
    8am - 6pm, Monday to 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.

    Opening times:
    Opening times: 9.30am - 3pm, Monday - Friday
  • National Autistic Society

    Supports autistic people and their families. You can contact them for help with educational rights, school transitions, educational tribunals, school exclusions and inpatient care. 

    You can also access their parent-to-parent emotional support service.

  • 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.