For legal aid to be granted to vary an overseas maintenance liability registered in Australia, the following tests must be satisfied:
- The applicant meets the means test, and
- The applicant meets guideline 5 – child maintenance and child support, and
- The circumstances of the payer, payee and/or child have changed since the order/assessment was made, and
- The payer does not have the capacity to pay the amount ordered or assessed, and
- The applicant meets the merits test, and
- The overseas country is a reciprocating jurisdiction (schedule 2 and schedule 1A of Family Law Regulations 1984).
Application received from client
Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:
- a completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form
- proof of income and assets (refer to the means test).
Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system attaching:
- proof of income and assets (refer to the means test)
- copy of court registered agreement or order and/or proof of registration with the Australian Child Support Agency (CSA) of order or court registered agreement (eg letter from the CSA).
The following documents are retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:
- a completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
The circumstances of the payer, payee and/or child have changed since the order or court registered agreement was made
Examples of a change in circumstances may include one or more of the following:
- the payer’s necessary expenses of self support significantly effect their capacity to pay child maintenance, eg necessary health costs
- the payer’s capacity to pay child maintenance is affected by their legal duty to maintain another child or person
- the payer has become unemployed and does not have prospects of employment for a reasonable period of time, and the order or court registered agreement does not provide for unemployment.
The payer does not have the capacity to pay the amount ordered or assessed
Legal Aid Queensland may consider the payer does not have the capacity to pay if there is evidence on file that the payer would experience significant hardship if the order or court registered agreement was not varied or discharged.
Allocation of a solicitor
Applications to vary an overseas maintenance liability registered in Australia will be referred to the in-house family law team unless there is a conflict of interest.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid to apply or respond to proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia is CS7.
Review of decisions
A decision to refuse legal aid for this type of matter may be appealed to the external review officer (refer to review of decisions).