Fact #8 – Legal aid is targeted at those who most need it, not aimed at giving people an unfair advantage

Fact #8 – Legal aid is targeted at those who most need it, not aimed at giving people an unfair advantage

Thursday, 13 July 2017

We are providing a series of facts about family law legal aid. Fact #8 – Legal aid is targeted at those who most need it – not aimed at giving people an unfair advantage.

Legal aid doesn’t take sides when deciding who we assist.

With finite funds, we can’t help everyone but we try to help as many people as we can. We try especially hard to provide help in cases that have serious impacts for the children in those families.

Our grants of aid focus on helping those who need it most based on their financial situation, their legal problem and their individual circumstances. 

Our means test is the way we make sure that those least able to afford a lawyer get the help they need. We are currently reviewing our means test to make it as fair as possible.

Remember, where both parties are eligible, it’s possible for both to get a grant of legal aid (see Fact #5).

While you have to meet the means test to qualify for legal aid, you are not automatically disqualified if you have a job or own a house, but we may ask you to pay a contribution towards your legal costs. We also apply conditions and restrictions to grants of aid as part of our costs management strategies. As is the case for most people paying their own legal fees, funding under a grant of aid needs to be prudent and sensible. We have to be even more careful at Victoria Legal Aid because we are spending public money.

More information

Find out more about how to get legal aid assistance.

Read our other facts about family law.