Legal support when times are tough - Shanahan Family Law

Legal support when times are tough

Legal Aid Queensland provides access to justice for disadvantaged Queenslanders in the areas of family, civil and criminal law – subject to means, merits, and guidelines tests. Shanahan Family Law is a Legal Aid Queensland partner and can assist with advising your eligibility for legal aid, submit an application on your behalf, help you with your legal problem, and represent you in court. Call us on (07) 5353 9366 or email office@shanahanfamilylaw.com.au for a complimentary consultation.

Can I get legal aid?

You need to apply for a legal aid grant if you want a lawyer to represent you in court. Shanahan Family Law is a Legal Aid Queensland partner and can assist with advising your eligibility for legal aid, submit an application for legal aid on your behalf, help you with your legal problem and represent you in court.

How do I qualify for legal aid?

Legal Aid Queensland use strict criteria when granting aid for legal representation to ensure they are using their funding to help those who are least able to afford a lawyer. These are: • a means test • funding guidelines • and in most cases, a merits test.

How does the means test work?

The means test evaluates your income and assets, whether you provide financial help to a partner or children, or if another person supports you to see if you are eligible to receive Legal Aid.

What are the funding guidelines?

The funding guidelines cover the types of cases Legal Aid Queensland can fund, based on the priorities set by the State and Federal governments. Some of the priorities are:

  • Family law such as urgent matters where a child’s safety or welfare is at risk or the applicant’s safety is at risk, where there is an immediate risk of a child being removed from Australia or to a remote location in Australia, Separate representation of children, Parenting plans and orders, Location and recovery orders, Injunctions relating to family violence
  • Civil law including Child protection proceedings, Domestic and family violence matters, and Discrimination matters.
  • Criminal law including District and Supreme Court criminal proceedings, Indictable offenses in the Children’s Court (these are serious offenses), appeals to the Court of Appeal or High Court, Magistrates Court committal hearings where the maximum penalty is more than 14 years in jail and Bail applications.

 What if I have special circumstances?

Guidelines have been developed to help identify applicants who usually would not meet the means test, but deserve special consideration because they experience multiple disadvantages. If you are experiencing domestic violence, live in a remote area, have an intellectual, psychiatric or physical disability or other disadvantages, you may be eligible for a grant of aid via the special circumstances’ guidelines. The special circumstances guidelines relate to assets only and a condition may be attached to any grant of aid approved under the special circumstances guidelines, for example, you may be required to pay a contribution towards your legal costs, or to provide your property as security for payment of these legal costs to Legal Aid Queensland.

How does the merits test work?

The merit of each person’s case is assessed by looking at: the legal and factual merits of the case and if it is more likely to succeed or fail if it goes to court, if a sensible person would risk their money to take the case to court, if the benefit the applicant will receive from having a lawyer justifies spending limited public funds on their particular case.

How do I apply?

You need to complete an application form. Shanahan Family Law is a Legal Aid Queensland partner and can assist with advising your eligibility for legal aid, submit an application for legal aid on your behalf, help you with your legal problem and represent you in court. Call (07) 5353 9366 or email us at office@shanahanfamilylaw.com.au for a complimentary consultation.