Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

Note: The following information provides guidance on how to interpret and apply Guideline 9 and should be read in conjunction with Guideline 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 in the Handbook. Where there is any inconsistency between the following information and the guidelines, the guidelines will prevail.

Mandatory requirements

Assistance may be available under Guideline 9.1, Guideline 9.2 and Guideline 9.3 where all of the following criteria are met:

Priority Family Dispute Resolution Services (FDRS) client

Refer to the notes linked to the priority FDRS client definition.

Threshold tests

Refer to the notes linked to the following threshold tests:

Parenting disputes

There is no parenting dispute.

Where there is a parenting dispute, that the applicant for legal assistance is eligible for a parenting dispute grant under our guidelines.

Where there is a parenting dispute

Eligibility under this trial guideline for family law property disputes is different to our grant for assistance in parenting matters and this trial guideline will not alter eligibility for a grant of legal assistance for parenting disputes.

In some instances, a client may be eligible for assistance for their property dispute and not their parenting disputes.

Parties with children who are not eligible for grants of assistance for both their family law property matter and parenting matter must have previously resolved all disputes regarding arrangements for children. For example, the parties have a parenting plan in place and there are no major disputes such as where the child/ren live.

Spousal main tenance

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 the trial grant of assistance and not under Guideline 6 – spousal maintenance.

Special circumstances

This guideline does not apply to property matters under Guideline 9. See Special circumstances.

Reviewed 20 February 2022

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