Family Law Services

Family Law Services aim to improve family relationships in the best interests of children by providing alternatives to formal legal processes for families who are separated, separating or in dispute.  Family Law Services are delivered under the following activity types:

  • Family Relationship Centres support separating families by providing an alternative to family law litigation through the provision of specialised support, family dispute resolution, information and referral.
  • Post Separation Co-operative Parenting provides education services assisting separated parents in high conflict to become more child-focused in their parenting.
  • Children’s Contact Services provide safe transfer of children and supervised visits.
  • Supporting Children after Separation Program assists children from separating families to deal with issues arising from the breakdown in their parents’ relationships, and to be able to participate in decisions that impact on them.
  • Parenting Orders Program assists separated or divorced parents experiencing difficulties resolving or managing conflicts arising over parenting arrangements.
  • Family Dispute Resolution services assist clients to reach agreements and resolve disputes related to family law issues. Family Dispute Resolution is an alternative to family law litigation (including property disputes).

Family Relationship Centres

What are Family Relationship Centres?

Family Relationship Centres (FRCs) assist families to strengthen relationships and deal with relationship difficulties through appropriate information, advice and dispute resolution. FRCs also give separating families help to achieve workable parenting arrangements (outside the court system).

Who will benefit from Family Relationship Centres?

Family Relationship Centres enable families throughout Australia to access information about family relationships at all stages, including:

  • forming new relationships;
  • overcoming relationship difficulties; or
  • dealing with separation.

How are Family Relationship Centres delivered?

There are 65 centres throughout Australia assisting separating parents to focus on their children’s needs and to agree on workable parenting arrangements outside of the court system.

The centres can also refer individuals, couples and families to a range of other helpful services to enhance family relationships.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Post Separation Co-operative Parenting

What is a Post Separation Co-operative Parenting service?

Post Separation Co-operative Parenting services assist separated parents in conflict to work cooperatively over parenting arrangements. It helps separated parents understand the effect of conflict on children and that their children need them to be supportive of their relationship with the other parent. It also helps parents develop strategies to deal more constructively with each other.

Who will benefit from a Post Separation Co-operative Parenting service?

Separated or divorced parents experiencing difficulties in resolving or managing conflict that arises over parenting arrangements for their children.

How are Post Separation Co-operative Parenting services delivered?

Post Separation Co-operative Parenting services are located in regional areas and provide education, counselling, individual support and access to children's contact services as appropriate to each case.

Clients may be voluntary or involuntary and can be referred from Children’s Contact Services, the courts, legal practitioners, community legal centres, legal aid commissions, Family Relationship Centres and other community organisations and in some cases clients will approach the services independently.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Supporting Children after Separation Program

What is a Supporting Children after Separation Program service?

Supporting Children after Separation Program aims to support children, within the context of their family, to manage and enhance their relationships during and after family separation. Services help children and young people deal with issues arising from the breakdown of their parents’ relationship and the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Who will benefit from a Supporting Children after Separation Program service?

Supporting Children after Separation Program support the wellbeing of children under the age of 18 from separated or separating families, and who are experiencing issues with difficult family relationships.

How are Supporting Children after Separation Program services delivered?

Supporting Children after Separation Program services provide a range of age appropriate interventions including individual counselling or group work for children.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Parenting Orders Program

What is a Parenting Orders Program service?

Parenting Orders Program services help separating families who are in high conflict to work out parenting arrangements with consideration of what is in a child’s best interests. Services help parents understand the effect their conflict is having on their children and assists them in developing strategies to more constructively manage parenting arrangements.

Who will benefit from a Parenting Orders Program service?

Parenting Orders Program support separating parents and children in high conflict.

How are Parenting Orders Program services delivered?

The program helps parents focus on their children's needs and uses education, counselling, mediation and access to children's contact services as appropriate to each case.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Children’s Contact Services

What is a Children’s Contact Service?

Children's Contact Services help children from separated families to establish or maintain a relationship with the parent they do not live with.

Who will benefit from Children’s Contact Services?

When families separate and the transfer of children from one parent to another is a problem, a Children's Contact Service provides a neutral venue for safe changeovers. Any separated families can use a Children's Contact Service, whether or not the parents have ever been married or lived with each other.

How are Children’s Contact Services delivered?

Where necessary, or as directed by a court order, these services can supervise the time children spend with a parent or other family members. The supervision is neutral as the focus is on the child and not on the dispute that parents or other family members may have.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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Family Dispute Resolution

What is a Family Dispute Resolution service?

Family Dispute Resolution assist separating families resolve disputes relating to separation and divorce and improve their post-separation relationships. Also, to improve people’s management of issues relating to separation and divorce.

Who will benefit from a Family Dispute Resolution service?

Separating parents requiring resolution over issues such as parenting arrangements, finances and property without going to court.

How are Family Dispute Resolution services delivered?

Family Dispute Resolution services are provided by a range of individuals and organisations, for example Family Relationship Centres, community organisations, community legal centres and individuals such as lawyers and social workers.

To search for a service provider in your area go to the Family Relationships Online website.

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