Family LawFamily law regulates legal obligations and responsibilities of couples who marry, live together as de facto partners or have children together. Family Law can apply at any time in the relationship – including before, during and after the relationship.
Reference – Qld Law Society – Family law
Australia’s family law system helps people resolve the legal aspects of family relationship issues, including family relationship breakdown. It encourages people to agree on arrangements without going to court.
A range of information and services are available to assist people going through family relationship issues. The Family Law Services and Support Fact Sheet has information on where to access family relationship, alternative dispute resolution, legal and family violence services, as well as services that support people’s wellbeing. Some of the services are also available to family members and friends of couples experiencing relationship issues. The Family Law Fact sheet also includes web links to useful websites that have further information about family law. Family Law System
Independent Children’s LawyerSometimes the court may decide to appoint a lawyer whose job is to make sure the child(ren)’s best interests are considered by the court. This lawyer is called an independent children’s lawyer (ICL).
To give the court information about the child(ren)’s wishes and views this lawyer will usually organise for someone (such as a psychologist, counsellor or social worker) to talk to the child(ren) and other people in their life like the parents or grandparents. This person will usually prepare a family report for the court to consider. They might also get information from other sources like school, doctor or counsellor.
This lawyer recommends to the court what arrangements they consider to be in the child(ren)’s best interests. They provide the court with information about the child(ren)’s views and wishes but what they recommend to the court might be different from what the child(ren) want if they think that it is in the child(ren)’s best interests after considering all the information they have gathered.
The independent children’s lawyer should explain how the system works, and choices the court might have to make about the child(ren)’s future.
Legal Aid InformationConsent Orders and Parenting Plans
Dividing your property
Children and Parenting
Child Support and Maintenance
Same Sex, De facto and Registered Relationships
Going to Family Courts
You and Family Law
Relationships and Children
What are my rights if I want to separate from my partner
Qld Law SocietyQld Law Society Website
Understanding Family Law
Find a solicitor
Family CourtFamily Court Website
Going to Family Court
Indigenous Families and the Courts
Family Law Matters
Reaching an agreement without going to court
Family Law in Australia
Separation & Divorce
Property & Finance
Child dispute services
About going to court and court processes
How Do I?
Legal AdviceYou should speak to a lawyer before applying to a family court. If you can’t afford a private lawyer, you may be able to get legal advice from Legal Aid Queensland or a community legal centre.
You can choose to have a lawyer represent you in your family court case or you can represent yourself.
The law and court processes can be complex so you should get legal advice.
You may also be eligible for legal aid for representation.
Duty LawyerThe family law duty lawyer is a free service and may be able to help on your court date for family law matters in the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court.
The family law duty lawyer can give you free legal advice and can help you by:
- giving you information and advice (on your court date)
- helping you complete some court forms and documents
- discussing your eligibility for legal aid.
The family law duty lawyer may not necessarily appear with you in court (unless you have a specific need.
- represent people in family law trials
- take on casework.
Let the family law duty lawyer know if you need extra help— for example, if you’ve experienced domestic or family violence, or you need an interpreter, have difficulty reading or writing or have a disability.
Find out when the family law duty lawyer is available.
If you need help before or after your court date, contact Legal Aid Queensland, a community legal centre or get a private lawyer.
Family Advocacy and Support ServiceThe service involves lawyers and social support workers helping people impacted by family violence who have a current family law issue.
If you need help on the day you are going to court, then speak to the family law duty lawyer or intake officer at the court.
If you have a very urgent family law issue, and you are not in court, then speak to an information officer at your local Legal Aid Queensland office or call 1300 65 11 88.
Get further legal adviceWhile the family law duty lawyer may be able to help you specifically on your court date, Legal Aid Queensland may be able to give you further advice about family law matters. Contact us for help.
The following organisations may be able to give you legal advice.
Community Legal Centres give legal advice on a range of topics. Contact them to find out if they can help.
Qld Law Society – Find a solicitor can refer you to a specialist private lawyer for advice or representation.