Victoria Legal Aid Handbook for Lawyers

The requirements under this test are set out in the guidelines. See Parenting disputes where the person is in custody.

Person in custody and merit – Example A

The father resided with the mother and the child, aged 10, prior to his incarceration. The parents separated due to the father’s offending (burglary). The father is serving a three-year minimum term. The mother refuses to allow the child to see the father while incarcerated. The paternal grandfather, who has a close relationship with the child, is willing to facilitate the contact with the father.

The father may meet the merits test to seek time with the child.

Person in custody and merit – Example B

The mother has been incarcerated for five years and has a further four years remaining on her sentence. At the time of incarceration, her child was one-year old and she has had no contact with the child since her incarceration.

It is unlikely that the mother would meet the merits test to seek contact with the child.

Reviewed 21 February 2022

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