Without legal aid, Sue couldn’t afford a lawyer to settle a family dispute with her ex-husband. Now both parents are worried they won't be able to see their children.


Sue and Joe separated six years ago and have three children together. The eldest son lives with Joe whilst the younger two children live with Sue. Joe applied for a grant of legal aid to arrange mediation with Sue for issues he has been having contacting and seeing his children. His grant was approved.

Sue did not want to mediate without a solicitor and she felt she would be intimidated negotiating with Joe and his solicitor. So she applied for a grant of legal aid but was refused on the grounds of means. Sue is in receipt of Centrelink but had a small amount of money in the bank which meant that she was ineligible. But Sue’s savings have been dwindling in the care of the two children she lives with, and she cannot afford a solicitor.

Now, as mediation could not take place, Sue and Joe are unable to resolve their dispute. Sue is worried that she won’t be able to contact her son, and that Joe won’t have contact with the two children living with her.

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