For legal aid to be granted for an application in a case to the following tests must be satisfied:
- there has been a material change of circumstances since the lodgement of the initiating application or response, and
- the issue has a degree of urgency and it is essential for the issue to be resolved, and
- the issue cannot be resolved through negotiations or a dispute resolution conference, and
- the request meets the merits test.
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.
Extension of aid requests received from a preferred supplier or in-house practitioner
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance must electronically submit an extension of aid request via the Grants Online system along with the relevant information request.
The following documents are to be retained on file but may be requested by Legal Aid Queensland:
There has been a material change of circumstances
Legal Aid Queensland may determine there has been a material change in circumstances when a party seeks to:
- Relocate due to a change in employment.
- Change the parenting arrangements as there is a risk to the child’s safety.
- Respond to a third party application.
- Respond to a procedural application of a vexatious nature.
- Apply for orders relating to property settlement as they were not aware of property owned by the other party.
Prior to funding an application in a case, the assessing officer must be satisfied that the dispute relates to a substantial issue and the matter meets the merits test.
It is essential for the issue to be resolved and the issue has a degree of urgency
Legal Aid Queensland may consider it is essential for the issue to be resolved when for example:
- a party is not complying with interim orders and denying the other party a meaningful relationship with the child.
- There are issues relating to the child’s immediate safety or welfare.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for an application in a case is FMAC for parties other than the ICL.
If the dispute includes property settlement, funding will be provided subject to the right to recover a retrospective contribution.