Guideline 9.2 – litigation in family law property disputes

Note: This guideline must be read in conjunction with Guideline 9.


Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may make a grant of legal assistance to a person for litigation to apply for or respond to a family law property application where the estimated total net property pool is $500,000 or less (or where the person applying for assistance’s estimated total net claim is $250,000 or less), excluding superannuation. This includes property pools consisting of only debts or of only superannuation.

The person seeking a grant of assistance must:

  1. be more likely than not to succeed in their application or response to the court, and
  2. have attempted to resolve the dispute by attending VLA’s Family Dispute Resolution Service, unless the matter is assessed by FDRS as unsuitable or unable to proceed. There must be evidence kept on the file showing the attempt to resolve the dispute at VLA’s FDRS, or
  3. be responding to a family law property application.

Documentary requirements

Lawyers submitting an application must ensure that evidence supporting the application is kept on the file. Lawyers are also encouraged to complete a Family law worksheet and a Proof of means worksheet for their file, available on the Invoice, forms and worksheets page.

Fees available

For information about fees available for a grant under this guideline, see Fee table 4.4.

Ongoing assessment that client meets the guidelines

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

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 9.2.