Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Guideline 5.3 – advice and negotiation for adults in child maintenance and adult child maintenance matters


Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of assistance to an adult for advice and negotiation in disputes relating to child maintenance and adult child maintenance, where:

  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 does not have an existing grant of assistance relating to the current dispute
  3. the lawyer considers that the dispute may be resolved through advice, negotiation and exchange of letters
  4. the following threshold tests are met:

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 maintenance 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 Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)External Link .

Disch arge or vary orders

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

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.

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 a vailable

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

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 5.3.

Reviewed 19 April 2023

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