Family Law Practice
Considering separation or knowing where to start and what to do after you have separated can be confusing, overwhelming and risky.
Our Family Law Practice provides advice and assistance about divorce and separation, care arrangements for children and/or dividing property. Our aim is to support safe arrangements for the care of children and property settlements that reflect women’s entitlements and, where possible, create the foundation for women’s financial security and independence.
We are a specialist service for women, which means we have an expert understanding of how domestic and family violence affects women’s circumstances and legal matters. We also assist women who are in an abusive, violent or controlling relationship to understand legal processes and their entitlements if they want to separate.
HOW WE HELP
We can provide women with information about Family Law or an initial appointment which provides an opportunity to understand the relevant legal processes, her entitlements, and her options to take the next step in her matter.
We offer flexible appointment options for clients, including telephone appointments, appointments outside standard business hours, and appointments at other locations, including Child and Family Centres across Canberra and Your Place Housing Support Service in Queanbeyan NSW.
Depending on a woman’s situation, we can also provide ongoing assistance, which can include
- Drafting correspondence to other parties or their solicitor on a client’s behalf to progress their matter
- Representation in Alternate Dispute Resolution processes such as round table conferences, mediation, lawyer-assisted family dispute resolution conferences and collaborative practices
- Drafting court documents for matters in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court, and in limited circumstances, the Supreme Court of the ACT
- Representation in the in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court, and in limited circumstances, the ACT Magistrates Court and Supreme Court of the ACT
We also have a number of pro bono partnerships that can assist women identify and trace assets of the relationship where she has limited access to this information due to financial abuse.
Our practice is focused on early intervention and early resolution. We try to intervene as early as possible to offer practical solutions so clients can resolve their family law issues safely and fairly, without escalation. Going to court is a last resort, and we work with clients to explore all other options before going down this path.
Multi-disciplinary and trauma-informed services
We understand that women may need more than legal advice to take the next step, stay safe through a legal process and to address other issues that affect their safety, financial security and well-being.
We have a team of Social Workers and an Aboriginal Case Manager that can provide support to Centre clients, including safety planning, advocacy and case management. We can also refer clients to complementary services including financial counsellors, specialist counselling, and other financial and parenting supports.
We are able to do this work thanks to funding received from the ACT and Commonwealth Government.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call for police and ambulance help.
If you require police assistance but it is not an emergency, phone 131 444 or visit the ACT Police website.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRISIS SERVICE
The Domestic Violence Crisis Service can provide emergency support to people affected by domestic and family violence.
Ph: 24/7 Crisis Line 02 6280 0900
CANBERRA COMMUNITY LAW
CCL provides free legal assistance in the areas of public housing, Centrelink, disability discrimination and some civil law matters. It also runs specialist programs to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with Centrelink, housing and race discrimination legal issues and people experiencing homelessness with civil law issues.
Ph: 02 6218 7900
CONSUMER LAW CENTRE ACT
CLC provides free legal advice and representation in the areas of consumer credit (mortgages, credit cards and personal loans), debt recovery, financial abuse, bankruptcy, insurance, simple contracts, and general fair trading and consumer protection.
Ph: 02 6143 0044
ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE
ALS provides free legal advice and representation in the areas of criminal law, family law, Care and Protection and Tenancy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Ph: 1800 765 767 (Criminal matters) 1800 733 233 (Care & protection and family matters)
LEGAL AID ACT
LA provides free legal advice and representation in the areas of criminal law, family law and some civil law matters, including migration and private tenancy issues.
Ph: 1300 654 314 (Helpline)
LEGAL AID DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND PERSONAL PROTECTION ORDER UNIT
This Unit provides free assistance to people applying for Family Violence Orders and help to understand and respond to orders. The Unit is located at the ACT Magistrates Court.
Ph: 02 6207 1874 or 1300 654 314