Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 4.1 – Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme

The Commonwealth Government funds Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) to provide grants of legal assistance under the family violence and cross-examination of parties scheme (the scheme). Funding for the scheme is separate to the general Legal Aid Fund.


VLA may provide a grant of legal assistance to a party in a family law matter pursuant to the scheme where:

  • the party applying for a grant of legal assistance is unrepresented, and
  • an order by a federal family law court has been made pursuant to section 102NA of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), and
  • the party applies to the scheme.

Applications assessed under this guideline do not need to meet the means or merits tests but are subject to VLA’s standard terms and conditions.

Costs payable

Costs payable in these grants of legal assistance may be limited to:

  • trial preparation
  • trial days for all days listed
  • conferences with the client up to three hours
  • VLA Family Dispute Resolution Services up to one conference
  • interim contest preparation and appearance where personal cross-examination may occur.

Please see Fee Table 4 for fees payable.

Application requirements

Applicants applying under this guideline should provide us with:

  • completed Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties Scheme application form
  • copy of the order made by the court prohibiting personal cross-examination
  • copies of any other court orders or directions relating to the family law matter.

Read more about the Family Violence and Cross-Examination SchemeExternal Link on the VLA website.

Reviewed 20 April 2023

In this section