Note: The following information provides guidance on how to interpret and apply guideline 8 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.
The lawyer is not required to assess eligibility under this guideline. Applications are submitted to ATLAS for assessment by Victoria Legal Aid (VLA).
(a) Eligibility criteria
VLA may grant legal assistance to a child or an adult to appeal or respond to an appeal against an order in the following matters:
- parenting disputes
- child support
- child maintenance
- adult child maintenance
- for an independent children’s lawyer to participate in an appeal.
If the original matter would have met VLA’s guidelines, then VLA will provide funding for the appeal, regardless of whether VLA originally funded the matter or not originally.
(b) Grants assessment process
An application for a grant of assistance under this guideline must be lodged via ATLAS using the ‘VLA Assessed – Appeals’ template, making the following selections:
- under matter type, select whatever the substantive matter type was
- under ‘court hearings’, select ‘yes’ and ‘FCFCOA (Division 1)’
- under ‘professional costs’, select ‘Appeal – Full Court’ or ‘Appeal – Single Judge’.
VLA will treat this application as a new family law matter for family cost ceiling purposes.
VLA assessed templates require that the lawyer detail how the matter meets the appropriate guideline and the Commonwealth merits test. If the lawyer needs to provide additional information, this should be done by using the ‘submit correspondence’ function.
(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 includes:
- details of how the matter meets the criteria under the guideline relating to the original proceedings
- if responding to an application for an appeal, copies of family or child support orders, relevant third -party reports, the most recent
- affidavit material and appeal documentation
- details of orders sought by the parties
- requisite proof of means
- all other relevant notes, supporting evidence and documents supporting the application.
The lawyer’s file should include documentation confirming the outcome of the appeal.
Lawyers are also encouraged to complete a family law worksheet.
(d) Fees and billing
Stage 5 – Appeals in the FCFCOA (Division 1) (Fee table ), sets out the fees available and the conditions attaching to grants under this guideline.
Reviewed 20 April 2023