Guideline 11 – recovery, location and information orders

Guideline 11 – recovery, location and information orders

Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) may provide a grant of assistance to a person for proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 for a recovery order, a location order and/or an information order relating to the location and/or recovery of a child where the matter meets Guideline 2 – litigation.

Applicants for legal assistance who are found by a court within the last 12 months to have contravened a Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia order without reasonable excuse will not be eligible for a grant of legal assistance under this guideline or will have their grant of legal assistance terminated.

Limitations and conditions

Usually, a grant of assistance for a recovery order, a location order and/or an information order will be:

  • limited to $2000 for a location order and/or an information order and $4000 for a recovery order
  • granted by VLA only on condition that the person seeking assistance seeks a costs order against the respondent to the court application.

However, if the respondent is also receiving a grant of legal assistance, then VLA will not impose the costs application condition.

If the applicant seeks a grant of legal assistance for a location order, then VLA will not include the amount of the grant when calculating the cost ceiling for the substantive matter (that is, a parenting order about with whom a child should live or spend time).

Court proceedings for a recovery order, a location order and/or an information order are ‘new matters’

For the purposes of the family law costs management methodology, VLA will treat proceedings for a recovery order, a location order and/or an information order as a ‘new matter’.

Applications for recovery orders should be filed with the substantive matter

Usually, VLA expects that an application for a recovery order be filed with the substantive matter (an application for a parenting order about with whom a child should live or spend time).

Only one lump sum fee would apply – that is, the lump sum fee for the substantive application (for example, to initiate/respond). The limitation of assistance to $2000 or $4000 for a recovery order will not apply in this case. However, if it is not possible to file together, the lump sum fee to initiate/respond will apply in addition to the lump sum for the recovery application. The limitation of assistance to $2000 or $4000 for a recovery order will still apply to the separate application for a recovery order.

The practitioner's file should include a note indicating that the issue has been considered, and reasons why the applications were filed separately.