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QLD Parent on Centrelink - How to Get Legal Representation Without Legal AId?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Liberty331, 5 February 2016.

  1. Liberty331

    Liberty331 Member

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    Hello, I would like some help for my 25-year-old daughter who has a little girl aged 4.5 years old and has just started Prep school.

    There is a non-written agreement that they have 50-50 custody of children at the moment.

    She left her abusive partner last March where they lived northside of Brisbane. She came and stayed with me in the south of Brisbane, until 2 weeks ago. When she went back to northside because she was pressured by her ex-partner & his mother into agreeing to put her daughter in school up there.

    She saw a Law Firm late last year who were able to take her case using Legal Aid so my daughter could have mediation and put in place orders for her to have full custody of her daughter. Legal Aid refused her application. She is on Parenting Payments with Centrelink only at the moment.

    There was nothing she could do without the representation of a good solicitor.

    Her ex-partner is abusive and she does have some documentation with her doctor but she hasn't put in place any orders with the police. My daughter is seeing a psychiatrist on Monday, February 8th, 2016 because she is finding it extremely difficult to be in this situation.

    She is currently living with her ex's parents because she hasn't been able to find a unit that suits her budget. Her ex is also living with his parents...Downstairs! Every opportunity he gets to abuse her (in front of their little girl as well) he takes. His mother is interfering and she has always been controlling.

    My question is, how can my daughter obtain legal representation for full custody of children? How can she be represented by a lawyer without Legal Aid to provide the finances which my daughter just doesn't have?

    This is a very dirty fight and she needs an excellent lawyer behind her to deal with these issues.

    My daughter doesn't know people at northside of Brisbane, her friends and family are here on the Southside of Brisbane. She has the support of family and friends down here and has been bullied into going back to northside (her ex & his mother pursued all the school enrollment without my daughter but she signed the paperwork under pressure).

    Thank you for reading my message & please don't hesitate to contact me if you need any further information.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    She was probably rejected Legal Aid funding because she was seeking 'full custody', so the likelihood of success was minimal.

    Unless he's abused the child - as in, not the mother, but the child directly, because being a risk to the mother does not mean he is a risk to the child - she won't get full custody of their daughter, so if she wants legal aid for a court dispute, she is better off getting some distance between herself and her ex and seeking orders for the child to spend time with both parents.

    The child has a legal right to have a relationship with both parents, so it takes a long history of issues for the court to violate a child's rights, and Legal Aid generally won't fund a sole parental responsibility case unless there is evidence of abuse, such as a DVO, police reports or reports to DHS.
     
  3. Liberty331

    Liberty331 Member

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    Thank you.

    There was a distance between both parents and they are sharing custody of one week on and one week off. That worked well while my grand-daughter was in kinder because she would attend Early Learning down here and a daycare up there.

    My daughter wanted to live here with family support but due to the Legal Aid rejection she had no alternative but to move back which is now proving difficult with housing, etc. and loneliness.

    There were no custody orders in place, this is a verbal agreement between the parents.

    There hasn't been any mediation or court hearings due to my daughter not having representation.

    Quote: she is better off getting some distance between herself and her ex and seeking orders for the child to spend time with both parents.

    This is exactly what she was trying to do last year but without Legal Aid working with her Solicitor it just fell apart.

    Her application for Legal Aid was not for full custody, it was for mediation so that something constructive was put into place without having to go to court. Her Barrister suggested to her that she should apply for full custody because he could see that this is not going to work...which it isn't.

    My daughter is complying and she wants only the best for her little girl. She wants her daughter to have time with her father.

    How can my daughter obtain financial help, putting into place 'anything' please?
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    In perspective, she's going to have difficulty changing anything while she's still living under the same roof as her ex. Ordinary issues like schools and 'time spent with' arrangements arise only when there are two houses to work with, so it will be difficult for Legal Aid to help resolve those issues if they're not really issues at this stage.

    In my view, your daughter doesn't need legal advice yet. What she should do is work out a course of action to establish herself independent from her ex, then sort out the care arrangements. She might consider moving into an apartment with a housemate, for example, and staying on the north side for six months or a year, and getting part time employment since her daughter is in prep. In six months time, then, mediation might be necessary and she can negotiate moving back closer to her own family, but right now, she's going to have difficulty if they're still living together.
     
    Cairnsdad likes this.
  5. Liberty331

    Liberty331 Member

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    Thank you. My daughter has applied for a unit and she will know during the week if she has the contract.
    Yes, she has also applied for employment and is also studying for a diploma.

    I feel that Legal Aid has let her down during the 10 months when she did live southside with me and wanted to have mediation and agreements in place so hopefully, when she approaches them in 6-12 months time the outcome will be better therefore giving her the freedom to move closer to her family where she has always wanted to be because of the support.
     

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