For legal aid to be granted for assistance for divorce or nullity of marriage the following tests must be satisfied:
Application received from client
Applicants seeking a grant of legal assistance should forward all of the following documents for assessment:
Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioners
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance must electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system with the information request for divorce.
The following documents are retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:
- a completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form
- proof of the applicants income and assets (refer to the means test).
The applicant has special circumstances
Legal Aid Queensland considers that an applicant has special circumstances when the applicant meets the commonwealth legal aid service priorities – special circumstances of the applicant priorities.
Court application is imperative
Legal Aid Queensland will only consider that a divorce is imperative when the applicant is experiencing continued harassment or ill-treatment from the other party and the applicant can demonstrate that the divorce will bring an end to the continued harassment or ill-treatment.
Legal Aid Queensland will only consider funding a divorce application where:
- the applicant has a domestic violence order in their favour, and
- the other party continues to breach the domestic violence order.
Legal Aid Queensland does not consider a court application for divorce is imperative when the applicant is only seeking to re-marry.
The applicant suffers particular hardship
As the Family Law Courts have developed self help kits for divorce, the applicant would be required to provide evidence of the hardship that are suffering in order to obtain a grant of legal assistance for divorce.
Legal Aid Queensland may consider that an application for divorce has complexity where:
- there are issues with the service of documents
- there are difficulties in proving the marriage.
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).