Frequently Asked Questions
What types of cases does Legal Aid Society take?
Legal Aid provides services to clients for Domestic Violence Protective Orders regardless of income. LAS will represent financially eligible clients in Family Law matters such as: divorce, parentage (custody), common law divorce, grandparent visitation and guardianships for minors and incapacitated adults.
Can the application fee and client fee for family law cases be waived?
No. Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake's Board of Trustees has set these fees based on a sliding scale fee depending on your household income and the number of dependents in your household. We do NOT include the opposing party's income in this calculation. Client fees represent a very small portion of the actual cost to represent someone in a family law case. The actual cost is subsidized through extensive fundraising efforts from individuals, foundations, and private as well as governmental grants. Although fees cannot be waived, LAS allows ample time for applicants to pay the application fee and sliding scale client fees. Fees must be paid in money order or cashier's check - cash and personal checks are not accepted.
How long does the application process take?
For family law cases (divorce, custody), the application process is a multi-step process including: you submitting conflict-of-interest form, LAS initial screening for eligibility, LAS sending application packet to you, you submitting the application packet with $25 application fee, LAS attorney review of application packet, LAS letter notifying you of acceptance and client fee amount, you sending client fee to LAS, assignment of case to LAS attorney/paralegal team, LAS team scheduling intake interview with you. This process can take weeks depending mostly on how quickly you return information and fees.
Does the Legal Aid Society handle criminal cases?
No. Legal Aid only handles civil cases dealing with family law. If you are charged with a criminal offense and cannot afford an attorney you should request a public defender when you first appear before a judge.
Do you offer consultations?
No. If you wish to consult an attorney, or if your matter does not fall within the scope of our services, there are free legal clinics listed on the Court's website and the Utah State Bar provides resources to help you find an attorney.
Do you give legal advice over the phone?
No. Legal Aid only gives legal advice to individuals who have gone through the application process, paid the client/administrative fee, and have signed a Representation Agreement. For other legal advice see the consultation answer above.
Is there a fee for obtaining legal services from Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake?
There is no fee for victims of domestic violence seeking protective order or stalking injunctions in the DVVA program. There is a non-refundable application fee and a client or administrative fee for divorce or parentage/custody cases in the Domestic Relations program.
Are there other options for me if Legal Aid cannot represent me in my case?
Yes. You may visit our Family Law Clinic located in the Matheson Courthouse, room W-15, where you can receive help with forms and information you need to represent yourself in court or go to free legal clinics listed on the court's website.
How is Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake funded?
We are funded by individuals and foundations who value access to justice and prevention of family violence. We are also supported by federal, state and local grants.