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  1. #1
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    Default Has anyone been rejected for legal aid?

    Im about to apply for legal aid. I am on SPP, however I have a small amount of savings left from working before DD was born. I was wondering if anyone has any idea about asset limits for legal aid. Gawd I can just see having the small amount I do have just going in 5 secs if I dont get legal aid approval....arrrghhhh.

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    Just as important as your asset base is the facts of your case.

    Legal Aid is essentially set up to assist people in criminal matters with a small portion of the funding going to family law matters.

    In criminal matters you pretty much have to be facing a jail sentence (and had a good defence) to be granted aid for representation for a trial.

    In family law matters the issue has to be serious, eg a recovery order to get children back, there has to be merit to your case (so a reasonable chance of winning) and you need to be able to show that your case would suffer if you did not have representation eg if there was a history of domestic violence in a relationship and your case would suffer if you had to represent yourself against a violent ex partner.

    If they don't grant you aid you may be entitled to use alternative dispute resolution for children and property matters.

    Even if you are granted aid they can still charge you a fee at the end of proceedings, and this amount will depend on assets and income. It won't be the same as a private lawyer will charge but it is written into an grant that you are given that legal aid is not free.

    It can help to have a solicitor write a cover letter to go with your application - this can be done by a lawyer at a community legal centre or a private lawyer that you would like to use if your application is successful.

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    I think there is a means estimator on their site somewhere for you to run your savings and assests through from memory.
    Last edited by Maia; 26-02-2011 at 12:11.

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    I'm looking into this at the moment too, no idea how it works but my first appt is next week so fingers crossed!

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    I was on PPS and had a $5000 term deposit (inherited from grandma's estate)- Legal Aid told me to use that money first before they'd consider a grant of legal aid. Then when the money was gone they still wouldn't help me- they said wait for him to take you to court and we'll help you- which is exactly what happened.

    It basically came down to me refusing all my ex's requests to the point where he became furious hired his own lawyer & took me to court. My only saving grace is he wasn't entitled to legal aid- if he got it first then they could have refused me under the 'conflict of interest' banner.

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    Ok thanks for the insight - It doesnt look good based on those responses. I dont have anything besides a few k in the bank...blah!!

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    Um....they just asked me of I had a concession card, and that was it. They didn't ask me about my assets. They dealt with my child support and parentage issues. There was nothing serious or complex about my case. They were lovely and very helpful.

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    Legal Aid will help alot of people with minor assistance (advice, drafting letters in your name, advice on completing documents and self representation) but for an actual solicitor to represent you on the record and do all the work and appear in Court for you is alot harder to get.

    You should apply anyway as it may be granted.

    Keep in mind that there are other legal services out there that are free if legal aid falls through.

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    Sitting here bummed. I saved all the baby bonus, and all the goverment grants plus have scrimped and saved and done without and also a little left from working to have a bit in the bank for DDs future needs and to have a saftey net available. Just being consciencious and responsible, now I feel like I shouldve just gone and blown it all cause it will be sucked away on legal fees anyway.
    I am on full pps and have concession card but the lawyer I contacted ( who is wonderful and has been used by friend on pps whom was granted legal aid ) has asked for a bank statement for last three months and a statement with PPS income stated on it I presume to apply for legal aid.
    I need to get mediation and Id like to get a parenting plan if we can agree and get it stamped by the courts as a legal document. How much is that all going to cost? who knows? seriously crushed at the moment.
    Last edited by Rubyzz; 19-02-2011 at 23:07.

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    You do not have to use a lawyer for mediaton you can access a family dispute resolution practitioner through places like Relationship Australia and Centrecare for a very low fee. They will help you and your ex reach an agreement and they will draw it up as a parenting plan. Please note though that a parenting plan is not enforceable by the Family Court and so you need the parenting plan converted into consent orders and then filed with the Court. You cannot file a parenting plan with the Court. You can do the consent orders without a lawyer.

    Alternatively look up the community legal centre in your area and you can access lawyers for free if you are on a Centrelink pension and/or low income.


 

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