Clients who qualify for free legal assistance must sign a certification and
retainer agreement. Clients must agree to keep DVLS informed of changes in
income and any other facts that may be relevant to the matter at issue.
Clients will not be responsible for attorney's fees, however they will be
required to pay filing and service fees and other court costs.
- Protection from Abuse
DVLS handles protection from abuse and other family law
matters for victims of domestic violence. If you are a victim of domestic violence and do not have access
to income or otherwise meet our income guidelines, you may be eligible for free legal assistance.
DVLS handles private housing matters
if you have a legal excuse for not paying rent, such as: no
heat, hot water or other condition issues.
DVLS does not handle consumer law issues. Consumer Law issues are handled by the Legal Services
Corporation of Delaware (302) 575-0408. Consumer Law includes:
Breach of Contract
Fair Credit Reporting Actions
Deceptive Trade Acts and Practices; Fraud
- Elderly or Terminally Ill
DVLS provides assistance in drafting
wills, power of attorney and living wills for the elderly and
terminally ill, or other special needs. DVLS also has
volunteer attorneys to act as guardian ad litem attorneys as well
as attorneys to represent the interest of the guardian if they
fall within the poverty level.
- Family Law
DVLS assists clients with custody,
visitation (limited) and divorce.
The Division of Child Support
Enforcement at 302-577-4863 handles
matters of child support enforcement.
If you are seeking legal assistance with regard to your payment
of child support, contact the Lawyer
Referral Service at (302) 478-8850.
Widener University School of
Law's clinic students through DVLS visit the Brandywine Senior Center, the Latin
American Community Center, the YWCA and the Battered Women's
Shelter. Center staff members and DVLS work closely to identify
their client's legal problems and to make appropriate referrals.
DVLS staff continue to visit homeless shelters periodically and
receive referrals for potential clients.
When a veteran's application for VA benefits is turned down by the
Regional Office, and rejected by Board of Veterans Appeals (BVA), the
veteran has to file a Notice of Appeal with the Court of Veterans
Appeals (COVA) in Washington.
Over 75% of all COVA cases are filed by veterans without legal
aid. Most of these appeals are unsuccessful. When a veteran has a
lawyer working on the COVA appeal, the veteran's success rate is 80%.