Guideline 9 – property disputes

As at 8 August 2023, applications under Guideline 9 have re-opened.

Intake of new grants for eligible parties will be capped at 20 per month, with applications received above this number assessed in the following month(s).

A grant of legal assistance in relation to disputes about property (including debt) in family law matters may be available in limited circumstances.

Some Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) threshold tests do not apply under this guideline. Parties only need to meet the forum test, the assessable income test included in the mean test (the assessable asset test will be suspended for the purpose of this guideline) and the criteria set out in this grant guideline. Parties may be liable to pay a contribution, based on their assessable income.

It is expected that, where appropriate, an application for spousal maintenance or de facto partner maintenance will be made under s. 74 or s. 90SE of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) within Guideline 9 – property disputes grant of assistance and not under Guideline 6 – spousal maintenance.

If parties have children, to be eligible for a grant of assistance under this guideline, they must have:

  1. no current legal parenting dispute, or
  2. be eligible for a grant of legal assistance for their parenting dispute, noting this guideline will not alter eligibility for parenting matters.

Where a party is a priority family law client, the following guidelines are available:

A grant of legal assistance under this guideline is not available under special circumstances.