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Family Legal Advice Service, Family Legal Aid changes and Review of Family Fixed Fees

NZ $45.00
Donella Hammond 2014 Sarah Kelly 2014 Michele McCreadie 2014
Donella Hammond
Legal Aid Services
Sarah Kelly
Provider & Community Services
Michele McCreadie
General Manager
Legal Aid Services

This book is only available in PDF format

Authors: Donnella Hammond, Sarah Kelly, Michele McCreadie
Published: 28 March 2014
Pages: 79  


This booklet describes changes that come into effect from 31 March 2014 that affect you as a family legal aid and/ or family legal advice service provider. The changes discussed result from both changes to the family justice system and from the recent review of the family fixed fees.

The Family Legal Advice Service has been established as part of family justice changes to provide initial advice and assistance with court entry forms for people on low incomes with care of children disputes. The funding assessment required for this service and administrative requirements, including recording required for payment are detailed inside this booklet.

The changes to the family justice system amend s 7A in the Care of Children Act 2004. In alignment with the CoCA amendment, s 7 of the Legal Services Act 2011 has been amended limiting where legal aid is available for CoCA proceedings.

The Family Fixed Fees Care of Children/Guardianship fees schedule applies to most family legal aid cases relating to disputes about the care of a child. This schedule will be replaced by a new Care of Children/Guardianship fees schedule that reflects the changes to CoCA proceedings which will be heard in the Family Court.

The major elements of the reform that impact on the delivery of Legal Aid Services are:

  • Fees have been added or removed
  • Changes affecting cross applications
  • Changes to family legal aid applications where there is more than one type of proceeding
  • Changes to pre-proceedings settlements
  • Transitional arrangements on and post implementation date

The family justice system changes do not apply to Hague Convention Cases and so these types of applications are not discussed in this booklet.

Final decisions on the review of the Family legal aid fixed fees were published on 10 March 2014. The main changes include the introduction of several new fees to close gaps in the schedules, and adjustments to fees for existing activities in the schedules. Other changes include an expansion of the disbursements policy and an increase in the number of pre-approved disbursements with greater clarity around when and how to apply for extra funding (Fixed Fees Plus).

Overall the review changes aim to reduce the level of paperwork and to ensure the fees reflect the work done by you at each stage.

The family fixed fees review has taken place at the same time as the family justice system changes. As such, this review has also changed some of the fees and activities in the Care of Children/Guardianship fees schedule.

Content outline

  • Part 1: Family Legal Advice Service
    • Scope of The Service
    • Service Entitlement
    • Distinctive Features of The Service
    • Financial Eligibility
    • Process for Establishing Financial Eligibility
    • Payment – Fees
    • Making a Claim
    • Buyer Created Invoices and Remittance Advice
    • Where to Go for Assistance
  • Part 2: Changes to Legal Aid for Care of Children Act Proceedings
    • Fee Schedules
    • Without Notice Proceedings
    • On Notice Proceedings – Fees Removed and Added
    • When A Case Moves Between Tracks
    • Multiple Proceedings
    • Pre-Proceedings Settlements
    • Transitional Arrangements
    • Cases Filed Prior to 31 March 2014 Which Are Ordered to FDR
  • Part 3: Changes to Family Legal Aid Fixed Fees and Disbursements
    • Changes to Family Fixed Fees
    • Changes to Family Fixed Fees
    • Changes Relevant to Specific Family Fixed Fee Schedules
    • Fixed Fees Plus
    • Changes
    • Disbursement Policy Changes
    • Implementation and Transitional Arrangements
    • Appendix 1: Website Funding Eligibility Tool Text
    • Appendix 2: Tax Invoice for Care Of Children/ Guardianship Proceedings
    • Appendix 3: Family Fixed Fees Schedules

View contents page

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The New Family Justice System - fundamental changes

Publication Date: 19-Mar-2014

Authors: Tim Black, Alan Goodwin, Nicola Grimes, Emma Parsons

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