International child abduction

On this page:

(show below)(hide below)

    For legal aid to be granted for an international child abduction matter, the following tests must be satisfied:

    If the matter has or will exceed the cap as outlined in guideline 18.2 – limit on costs, the matter will be referred to a grants manager for consideration.

    Documentary requirements

    Applications 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)
    • Copies of any relevant documentation.

    Applications 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 with details of how the applicant meets the guidelines for international child abduction matters and copies of any relevant documentation.

    The following documents are to be retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:


    A grant of legal assistance is not available to an applicant for assistance to intervene in proceedings relating to the return of a child under the convention

    Legal aid is not available for applicants who are seeking to make an application under the Hague Convention for the return of a child as assistance is available through either:

    • The Attorney-General’s Department, or
    • International Social Service (ISS) Australia.

    Prospects of success

    In determining an applicants prospects of success, Legal Aid Queensland will consider whether the removal or retention of a child was lawful.

    Legal Aid Queensland may consider that an applicant will not have reasonable prospects of success where:

    • The parties had an agreement in relation to who the children live with and how much time they spend with each party and applicant has breached the agreement by retaining the children and/or removing them from a country.

    Grant(s) of aid

    Grants of aid for international child abduction matters will be funded in accordance with the family law stage model for parenting disputes.

    Extension(s) of aid

    Solicitors may also request additional funding outside the stage model; the criteria applied to these requests are contained with nature and extent of funding.

    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).

    Last updated 17 February 2020