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Family Law

If you’re a mum, dad, grandparent or family member and there is a disagreement about the kids in your family, come and have a yarn with us.

Call us on 1800 765 767. This is a toll-free number.

We help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across NSW and the ACT.

 

What is family law?

Family law covers many kinds of legal matters and disputes in relationships, including marriage, separation, child custody, parenting arrangements and more.

At the ALS, we help with family law matters where children are involved.

 

Who we help

We assist mums, dads, grandparents and other family members who are worried about what is going on for kids. You must live in NSW or the ACT and the child you are worried about must be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Our legal assistance is subject to means, merit and conflict tests. The means and merit tests make sure that our help is going to those people who need it most and would have trouble affording a lawyer otherwise. The conflict test makes sure that we don’t have any conflicts of interest in taking your case, so that you can be confident we are acting in your best interests.

Our assistance is also subject to the availability of ALS family lawyers. Unfortunately we don't receive enough government funding to always have lawyers available. We are actively campaigning for the Commonwealth, NSW and ACT Governments to provide us with the adequate funding we need to change this. In the meantime, we will do our best to provide you with information and referral to another service if we are unable to represent you.

 

When to come to us

It is best to get legal advice as early as possible. Early action can avoid more serious disputes. By talking with a lawyer early, you will understand the system better and know where you stand.

Please give us a call on 1800 765 767 if:

  • You are thinking about separating or have already separated from your partner
  • There is a disagreement about spending time with your kids or grandkids
  • The behaviour of a parent or family member is making you worry for the safety of kids
  • You are worried about your own safety, or the safety of kids because of family and domestic violence
  • You want to arrange with family to care for the kids while you sort yourself out
  • Your kids have been taken from your care by their other parent or another family member without an agreement
  • You want to see your children but you have an ADVO or FVO 

When you come and see us, bring a family member, a community member or a friend for support.

 

How we help

We know the law can be complicated. We will support you to find solutions across the legal system to achieve what is best for your family.

Where possible and appropriate, we encourage resolution of family law disputes by agreement between the parties. If necessary, we will represent people on contested hearings at a court or tribunal.

We can help by:

  • Talking about what your options are
  • Assisting you to arrange mediation to resolve disagreements (this is known as Family Dispute Resolution)
  • Representing you in a lawyer-assisted mediation and/or in court
  • Preparing court documents and other important paperwork
  • Preparing parenting orders by consent which say who makes decisions for the kids, where they live, and who they spend time with
  • Helping you to get a grant of legal aid
  • Referring you to other services for help with ADVOs or FVOs, property disputes, divorce and other issues

 

Contact us

Call our family law team on 1800 765 767 or email [email protected]. 

 

Find out more about Family Court

Not sure what to expect when going to Family Court? Watch this video:

This film was an initiative of the Aboriginal Family Law Pathways Network as part of the Greater Sydney Family Law Pathways Network. The purpose of this film is to protect our children and to improve community understanding and access to the family law system. It dramatises the role of an Aboriginal health worker “Uncle Paul”. Uncle Paul assists Aboriginal community members to understand and use the family law system. He links family with legal services to help them protect children and keep children connected to family and culture. The film is written and directed by award winning indigenous filmmaker Larissa Behrendt AO.

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