Pro deo assistance

For people who do not have sufficient resources to pay a lawyer, there is the possibility to obtain (fully or in part) free legal assistance. This is better known as 'pro deo' (or pro bono) assistance.

In order to be admitted to pro deo assistance, your application must first be approved. For this you must submit certain documents, on the basis of which it can be determined whether or not you are eligible.

We will help you with your application.

Who can apply?

1.  Minors are always entitled to free assistance from a lawyer.

2.  Certain people are automatically 'assumed' that they have insufficient income to pay a lawyer.

This mainly concerns:

  • People who receive a living wage from the OCMW;
  • Tenants of social housing;
  • People who want to apply for debt mediation (collective debt settlement);
  • Detainees.

3.  People who do not belong to one of these categories must prove that they have insufficient income to pay a lawyer.

Not only your own income is taken into account, but also the income of all adult people you live with (read: are domiciled at the same address). Obviously, the income of a (former) partner from whom you wish to divorce is not taken into account.

At the moment, the following scales apply:

  • As a single person, your net income may not exceed 1.717 euros / month.

  • When you live together, the total family income is taken into account. The maximum family income is calculated as follows: 2.007 euros + 328,17 euros per person you live with (children or partners, regardless of whether they have an income of their own or not).

For example: you live with your partner, one adult child and one minor child. The total family income (of you, your partner and your adult child) may not exceed (2.007 + 328,17 + 328,17 + 328,17 =) 2.991,51 euros in order to be admitted to pro deo assistance.

How can I apply?

If you think you qualify for pro deo assistance, you should proceed as follows:

  • Fill in the application form as best as possible (don't forget your signature).

  • Return the completed form to us (by post or email), along with a brief explanation of your problem ("Why do you need a lawyer?").

  • You will receive an email from us with information about the documents we need to complete your application.

  • Send us the requested documents.

Then what ?

We will forward your application, together with the documents provided, to the 'Bureau for Legal Aid'. They will decide whether you're eligible or not.

If the documents are complete, a decision can be made within a few days. If additional information is required, we will let you know.

As soon as the application has been approved, we will inform you and invite you for an appointment at the office.

Sometimes the legal assistance will only be 'partially' free of charge. This means that you have to pay a one-off contribution with a minimum of 25 euros and a maximum of 125 euros.

Please note: admission to pro deo assistance is always 'per case'.

Suppose you were admitted to pro deo assistance for a divorce procedure, then you will not automatically be admitted to deo assistance for a case before the police court. For the latter, you will have to file a new application.


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