Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 5.2 – litigation and administrative review for adults in child support matters


Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of assistance to an adult in the following proceedings:

  • administrative review of decisions made under child support legislation, including:
    • applications to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to review a decision of the Child Support Registrar (first appeal to AAT)
    • applications to the AAT to review a decision of the Social Services and Child Support Division of the AAT (second appeal to AAT)
  • applications to a court, including:
    • appeals to a court from a decision relating to child support of the AAT on a question of law
    • applications relating to arrears of child support
    • applications relating to enforcement of child support


  1. the person has sought and is unable to obtain assistance from our Child Support Legal Service or a community legal centre
  2. the person has been, or will be funded by us in relation to another family law matter
  3. the following threshold tests are met:


  1. where the person is seeking assistance for enforcement of a child support order, the person alleges that there has been a substantial contravention of the order.

Other mandatory requirements

As well as the requirements set out in this guideline, an additional criterion applies in the following circumstances:

Where a person is not a parent of the child

Legal assistance in child support matters is most commonly granted to one or both of the parents of the child. Where the person is not a parent of the child, the lawyer must also be satisfied that the person meets the requirements in the child support legislation.

Documentary requirements

Applications for assistance under this guideline are within the simplified grants process and are submitted through ATLAS. Lawyers submitting an application must ensure that evidence supporting the application is kept on the file.

Fees available

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

Ongoing assessment that client meets the guidelines

The lawyer must inform VLA if, at any point during the life of the grant, they are no longer satisfied that the client meets the guideline, including the Commonwealth merits test.

Notes on the 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 5.2.

Reviewed 19 April 2023

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