- the person has taken reasonable steps to locate the , or a person who has the in their care
- a court order is required to obtain information about the whereabouts of the , or a person who has the in their care
- the following threshold tests are met:
and the person is either
- allegations have been made that indicate there is a risk to the wellbeing and/or safety of the from being subject or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence.
In order to satisfy this criteria, the level of risk must be such that there is a likelihood that orders will be made that either:
Other mandatory requirements
As well as the requirements set out in Guideline 2.2, additional criteria apply in the following circumstances:
Where a person is not a parent of the child
Legal assistance under this guideline is most commonly granted to one or both of the parents of the child. Where the person is not a parent of the child, VLA must also be satisfied that:
- the person is
- it is in the for the person to be granted legal assistance in relation to the dispute.
In determining the best interests of the child, where there are state child protection orders in place or child welfare proceedings on foot, VLA may grant assistance to a person who is not a parent of the child where the orders or proposed orders are in favour of that person.
Discharge or vary orders
If the significant change in circumstances has been caused by the applicant, VLA will consider the circumstances surrounding that change in deciding whether it is appropriate to make a grant of legal assistance to the applicant.
One of the following grants may be available where a person seeks assistance to start legal proceedings with a location or information order:
When a stage 2B grant is available
- Where a person qualifies for assistance under this guideline, whether or not substantive parenting orders are also sought, and the matter cannot be characterised as an , a stage 2B grant is available.
- Where subsequent to being granted assistance, the parenting issues can be deemed urgent under any of points 2 to 7 of the definition of urgent matter, the lawyer can request an extension for a 2E grant.
- Under a stage 2B grant, where proceedings for the location of the child are concluded and there are other parenting issues remaining to be resolved, the lawyer is not entitled to claim subsequent appearance fees to resolve the parenting issues.
- Where the parenting issues remaining to be resolved cannot be deemed urgent under any of points 2 to 7 of the definition of urgent matter, the lawyer must refer the parties to our (FDRS). The lawyer should recommend applying for a (Preparation for early intervention FDRS). A section 60I certificate will be required if the person applies for a litigation grant under .
- Where a person qualifies for assistance under this guideline, only the lump sum fee is available. No subsequent appearance fees are available under this grant.
When a stage 2C or 2E grant is available
Where a person qualifies for assistance under this guideline and substantive parenting orders are also sought, the stage 2C grant or 2E grant is available where the matter can be deemed urgent under any one of points 2 to 7 of the definition of urgent matter. In these circumstances, a section 60I certificate is not required.
The following conditions apply to grants of assistance for location or information orders:
- the person requesting assistance for an application for a location or information order must seek a against the other party from the court. If the other party also has a grant of legal assistance in the matter, this condition does not apply
- a grant of assistance for a location or information order is treated as a for the purposes of . This means VLA will not include the amount of the grant when calculating the for the substantive matter.
Notes on this guideline
Reviewed 19 April 2023