Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 1.6 – advice and negotiation for child litigants in parenting disputes

Note: The lawyer is not required to assess eligibility under this guideline. Applications are submitted to ATLAS for assessment by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA).


VLA may make a grant of assistance for advice and negotiation for a child litigant in a parenting dispute, where:

  1. the child litigant does not have an existing grant of assistance relating to the current dispute
  2. the dispute may be resolved through advice, negotiation and exchange of letters
  3. the following threshold tests are met:


  1. VLA are satisfied that:
    1. it is appropriate for the child litigant to participate in the negotiations
    2. the parent, or person with parental responsibility who would otherwise make the application is genuinely unwilling or unable to do so.

Other mandatory requirements

As well as the requirements set out in Guideline 1.6, additional criteria apply in the following circumstances:

Discharge or vary orders

Where the person is applying for assistance to discharge or vary existing parenting orders, there must also have been a significant change in circumstances since the parenting order was made.

If the significant change in circumstances has been caused by the applicant, we will consider the circumstances surrounding that change in deciding whether it is appropriate to make a grant of legal assistance to the applicant.

Documentary requirements

Lawyers submitting an application in ATLAS must ensure that evidence supporting the application is uploaded to ATLAS with the application.

Fees available

For information about fees available for a grant under this guideline, see Fee table 4.1.

Notes on this guideline

For commentary and examples on the eligibility criteria, grants assessment process, documentary requirements and fees and billing relevant to this guideline, see the Notes on guideline 1.6.

Reviewed 19 April 2023

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