Legal Aid for Divorce
Legal aid for divorce on the Sunshine Coast – 98% success rate
Legal Aid for Divorce
LEGAL AID FOR YOUR DIVORCE ON THE SUNSHINE COAST
A divorce is an emotionally challenging time in anyone’s life and can be expensive specifically if you don’t understand the process. The intention of the information on this page is to help you better understand the legal process of getting divorced and the legal aid available to you on the Sunshine Coast.
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After you have separated, you can either:
We advise to get legal help if you want a divorce and are unsure if you meet the criteria to be regarded as separated. We also recommend you read this article: 5 Essential Considerations Before You Get Divorced.
The Federal Circuit Court located on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane allows an online application that can be completed by either you or your ex-partner.
However either of you must meet the below criteria:
Arrangements involving children
Getting back together for a short time
Divorce from a short marriage
Parties married for less than 2 years can get a divorce, however it is conditional that both parties agree to counselling. If your partner refuses to get counselling, you can still proceed with the divorce however you will need legal counsel.
Applying for a divorce
To apply for a divorce at the Federal Circuit Court located on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane you or your ex-partner need to:
Now that we have covered some of the divorce basics, let’s explore Queensland’s Legal Aid, specifically looking at divorce on the Sunshine Coast.
How does Queensland Legal Aid decide who gets legal aid?
There is a big demand for legal aid on the Sunshine Coast and as such there are strict criteria when granting aid for legal representation. There are three sets of criteria to determine if legal aid will be granted:
How does the means test work?
Queensland Legal Aid uses the means test to look at your income and assets to see if you are financially eligible for legal aid.
If you support or provide financial help to other people like a partner, children or other dependents, the means test takes this into account. Similarly, if someone supports you financially or provides financial then the means test will take this person’s income and assets into account. You will need to provide details of their income and assets in your legal aid application.
What income should be included in your legal aid application?
You will need to inform Queensland Legal Aid about any money you regularly receive like:
If you rely on Centrelink payments for your income, you will usually be eligible for legal aid. You will also need to include child maintenance and child support payments as income as well as any tax benefits.
Legal Aid considers the follow assets in the means test
Legal Aid Queensland take the following assets into account: property (houses, land), cash, shares, debentures or other investments, and the assets of any person who helps you financially unless you are applying for legal aid because you are in dispute with the person providing the financial support. Legal aid doesn’t include the following assets:
How much can I earn and still get legal aid?
Queensland Legal Aid has set-up a Table 1 that shows how much gross weekly income you can earn and still be eligible for legal aid living on the Sunshine Coast. You will also be able to use the table to check if you might have to contribute towards your legal costs. Table 2 on the Queensland Legal Aid website shows how much you may have to pay towards your legal costs based on the value of your assets. Queensland Legal Aid will not approve your application if the amount you would have to pay towards your legal costs would be more than the grant of aid value.
If you feel you have special circumstances that need to be considered
Queensland Legal Aid have developed guidelines to help identify applicants who would not usually meet the means test but deserve special consideration because they experience multiple disadvantages. Queensland Legal Aid consider the following as special circumstances, if you are experiencing domestic violence, live in a remote area, have an intellectual, psychiatric, or physical disability or other disadvantage, you may be eligible for a grant of legal aid.
There are special circumstances guidelines relating to assets that will have to be met for you to qualify. Queensland Legal Aid allows for a condition to be attached to any grant of legal aid. For instance, you may be required to pay a contribution towards your legal costs, and/or you may be required to provide your property as security for payment of these legal costs to Legal Aid Queensland. For a copy of the guidelines, put your email in below and we’ll send you the latest copy