Funding eligibility

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Full funding is available for people on low incomes to help you settle disputes about how you’ll care for your children.

If you are eligible for full funding, this will cover the costs of:

  • Family Dispute Resolution, including preparation for mediation if needed
  • Some legal advice about your responsibilities and options and help filling in court forms if needed


Eligibility is based on:

  • the number of people who depend on you financially (your dependants) and
  • your income over the past year (before tax and any deductions such as student loan repayments, KiwiSaver contributions or ACC levies). If your income has recently changed, you can use your income (before tax and any deductions) over the past 3 months.

You are also eligible if you have qualified in the past year for family or civil legal aid.

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Find out if you qualify

This table is an indication of whether you are eligible for full funding. The table shows the most you can have earned to qualify. The maximum income varies with the number of dependants.

Number of dependantsMaximum annual income (before tax and any deductions)
Maximum fortnightly income (before tax and any deductions)
Maximum earnings over past 3 months (before tax and any deductions)
0 (you have no dependants) 23,820.00 916.15 5955.00
1 (partner or child) 37,722.00 1450.85 9430.50
2 (partner and/or children) 54,245.00 2086.35 13,561.25
3 (partner and/or children) 61,642.00 2370.85 15,410.50
4 (partner and/or children) 68,882.00 2649.31 17,220.50
5 (partner and/or children) 77,002.00 2961.62 19,250.50
6 or more Add $7124.00 for each extra dependant Add $274.00 for each extra dependant Add $1,781.00 for each extra dependant

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Apply for funding

To apply for funding, you need to:

  • fill out an application form
  • provide evidence of your income
  • sign a declaration (saying the details you have given are correct). 

Your Family Dispute Resolution provider or Family Legal Advice Service lawyer has the application form and will help you fill it out. They also need to sign the form. 

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Your income includes wages or salary as well as any benefits, interest or income received from a trust. It does not include debts, assets or your partner’s income. 

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Dependant means:

  • a partner who has no income
  • all children who rely on you for financial support, whether or not they live with you. This may also include your partner’s children if you are regularly making payments for them.

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