Notes on Guideline 7.3 – litigation for child litigants for special medical procedures involving them

Note: The lawyer is not required to assess eligibility under this guideline. Applications are submitted to ATLAS for assessment by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA).

The following information provides guidance on how to interpret and apply guideline 7.3 and should be read in conjunction with that guideline in the Handbook. Where there is any inconsistency between the following information and the guidelines, the guidelines will prevail.

(a) Eligibility criteria

Assistance may be available under this guideline where criteria A, and B, and C are met.

Criterion A and B

We may consider it appropriate for the child litigant to participate in an Family Dispute Resolution Service conference where the child is the parent in a dispute.

The child must be sufficiently mature to give instructions to a lawyer. Part 5.1.1of VLA’s Practice Standards provide additional information in relation to representing children in family law matters, including assessing capacity to give instructions and taking instructions from very young, traumatised and/or intellectually disabled children.

Criterion C

Refer to the notes linked to the following threshold test:

(b) Grants assessment process

Refer to the notes linked to Guideline 7.1, Grants assessment process

(c) Documentary requirements

Lawyers submitting an application under this guideline must ensure that evidence supporting the application is uploaded to ATLAS with the application. This should include:

  • the lawyer’s assessment that the child is sufficiently mature to give instructions
  • how both criteria A and B of the guideline are met
  • how the threshold test is met.

The file should also contain all other relevant notes, supporting evidence and documents.

Lawyers are also encouraged to complete a family law worksheet.

(d) Fees and billing

Stage 2 of fee table 4.1, sets out the fees available and the conditions attaching to grants under this guideline. The following provides additional information.

Stage 2E – initiating litigation, FCFCOA

If a barrister is briefed to appear at a hearing, they must be paid directly. For more information, see the Step by step ATLAS guides.

The broadband grant allows for three subsequent hearings payable where the matter is listed in the duty list or as a mention or directions hearing at the interim stage.

The grant allows for service fees, conduct money and filing fees up to a set amount. If further funding is required, a special disbursement extension must be submitted. Filing fees cannot be claimed where the client is entitled to an exemption of those fees. The grant allows a set amount for FOI requests, title search fees and title lodgement fees.

No fees are payable for administrative adjournments.

See the Snapshot of fees available when initiating litigation, FCFCOA.