In accordance with the Commonwealth family law guidelines, Legal Aid Queensland must consider whether it is appropriate to make a grant of legal assistance for an applicant to participate in family dispute resolution services before it considers making a grant of legal assistance for court proceedings.
For legal aid to be granted for a recovery, location and information order, the following tests must be satisfied:
- The applicant meets the means test,
- The applicant meets guideline 10 – recovery, location and information orders, and
- There is a final court order in place which provides that the child live with the applicant for assistance, and
- The child has been removed or not returned to the applicant, and
- The applicant has made attempts to recover or locate the child and has been unsuccessful, and
- There appears to be no valid reason for the other party to retain the child in their care, and
- The applicant meets the merits test.
Applicants seeking funding for a recovery, location and/or information order who do not have a parenting order in place will be assessed under initiate or respond to court proceedings until a substantive interim order about parenting is made.
Applicants funded under guideline 10 – recovery, location and/or information orders are usually limited to $2,000.
Where a recovery, location and information order is sought in conjunction with orders relating to time and communication, the $2,000 cap is not applied.
If an extension of aid is requested and the total file commitment will exceed the cap, the matter will be referred to a grants manager for consideration.
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 your income and assets (refer to the means test)
- Copies of any court orders
- Details as to when you last spent time or communicated with the child
- Details of your attempts to recover or locate the child
Application received from preferred supplier or in-house practitioner
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance must electronically submit an application for aid via the Grants Online system with the relevant information request and attaching copies of any court orders
The following documents must be retained on the practitioner's file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:
- A completed and signed Legal Aid Queensland application form.
- Proof of the applicant’s income and assets (refer to the means test)
- Proof of the client’s / solicitor’s attempts to recover or locate the child
Where funding includes a location or information order, funding is restricted to locating the child rather than the other party to the dispute.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for a recovery, location and information order where a court order exists is REC1.
Extension(s) of aid
If the recovery application proceeds to additional days, the REC2 grant of aid is available.
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).