Legal Aid & FLAS

Legal Aid

Legal Aid can pay for many different types of proceedings in the Family Court. However, there are income and asset thresholds to qualify for Legal Aid. In most cases you will need to pay us (as your lawyer) an initial contribution of $50.00, unless you are the applicant in a Domestic Violence case. While in some cases you will not be required to repay the full amount of Legal Aid paid to your lawyer, you will often be required to repay some of it. The exact amount you are required to pay is assessed by Legal Aid based on your individual circumstances.

You will usually qualify for Legal Aid if receive a benefit from WINZ, or if your income is lower than the following amounts:

  • If you are single: $23,820
  • If you have 1 dependent (spouse/partner or child): $37,722
  • If you have 2 dependents (spouse/partner and/or children): $54,245
  • If you have 3 dependents (spouse/partner and/or children): $61,642
  • If you have 4 dependents (spouse/partner and/or children): $68,882
  • If you have 5 dependents (spouse/partner and/or children): $77,002

If you have more than 5 dependents the income threshold increases by $7,124 for each additional dependent.

If you think you qualify for Legal Aid, it is very important that you bring the following documents with you, so that we can complete your application:

  • Proof of Income; e.g. a statement from IRD, your last 3 months of bank statements, or a letter from WINZ confirming a) that you currently receive a benefit and b) the amount of that benefit
  • New Zealand photo identification; e.g. driver licence or passport

Family Legal Advice Service (FLAS)

Family Legal Advice Service, or FLAS, is a limited form of financial assistance provided by the Government to assist you if you are wanting to go to the Family Court to resolve disputes relating to your children. We can give you initial advice, and help with the drafting of your court application.

The income limits for FLAS are similar to, but not exactly the same as, the limits for Legal Aid. However, there is no initial contribution, and you are not required to pay back FLAS.

When you think you qualify for FLAS, it is important that you bring the following documents with you so that we can complete your application:

  • Proof of Income; e.g. a statement from IRD, your last 3 months of bank statements, or a letter form WINZ confirming that you receive a benefit and the amount of that benefit
  • New Zealand photo identification; e.g. driver licence or passport

What if I’m not eligible?

If you are not eligible for FLAS or Legal Aid, no problem – we can still act for you on a private retainer basis, and arrange an affordable payment plan.

If you’d like to set up a payment plan, or you’re not sure whether you quality for FLAS or Legal Aid, give us a call on (09) 238 7004, or come in and see us at 64 Edinburgh St, Pukekohe, and we will be able to help you.