Legal Aid WA provides a wide range of services for family law and protection and care matters in Perth and across regional WA.
Most family law cases are heard in the Family Court of WA in Perth and protection and care cases in the Children's Court of WA in Perth. However, regional Magistrates courts also hear some of these cases. The Family Court of WA also regularly travels on circuit to regional areas to hear family law cases.
Our regional offices may be able to provide advice and assist with protection and care and family law issues. Lawyers and paralegals from our Perth office also regularly provide advice and assistance to people in regional areas. For example, duty lawyers from the Family Advocacy and Support Service (FASS) travel on Family Court circuits to regional areas including Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Broome, Albany and Bunbury.
Legal advice and assistance
There are several ways to access legal advice and assistance for family law matters:
- Call the Infoline on 1300 650 579 or visit us at 32 St Georges Terrace Perth (or your local office - see here for details) for general information and telephone appointment bookings for advice with our Early Intervention Services and to make applications for Legal Aid.
- Call Virtual Office on (08) 9261 6376 for advice appointments with a family lawyer held via videoconferencing. See here for more information on Virtual Office locations.
- Attend our duty lawyer service at the Family Court of WA (150 Terrace Road, Perth) for urgent advice and/or assistance in court.
- Attend our duty lawyer service at the Children’s Court of Perth (160 Pier Street, Perth) for advice and/or assistance in court.
- Attend our duty lawyer service at the Perth Magistrates Court (and Joondalup Magistrates Court on alternate Tuesdays) for advice and assistance on FVRO matters, for women and men in same sex relationships, and assistance in shuttle conferences.
Duty lawyer services for people at court
We have a duty lawyer service located at the Family Court of WA in Perth, called Family Court Services (FCS). This is a free service available Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. The duty lawyer may be able to represent people in court if they have a case in court that day and have not been able to get a lawyer in time. FCS can also help with urgent family law problems - for example, if a child has been taken from their carer and a recovery order is needed.
FCS also provides the Family Advocacy and Support Service (FASS), a free specialist family violence service which provides legal and social support services to people with a family law problem who are affected by family violence.
Quick Answers Video: Family Advocacy and Support Service
|Download the fact sheet for this video|
We have duty lawyer service located at the Children's Court of WA in Perth called Children's Court (Protection) Services. This is a free service available Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. The duty lawyer may be able to represent people in court if they have a case in court that day and don't already have a lawyer. The duty lawyer service can also help provide advice and assistance if Child Protection is involved with the family, even if there is no current court case.
We have a duty lawyer service located at the Perth Magistrates Court provided by our Domestic Violence Legal Unit (DVLU). This service is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm. The DVLU duty lawyer can help women, children and men in same sex relationships that are experiencing or impacted by family violence. The duty lawyer can help with applying for a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO). DVLU also have a duty lawyer service at Joondalup Magistrates Court on Tuesdays (fortnightly) to help with contested FVROs.
Our new Stronger Women program is a free legal service for disadvantaged women who live in regional WA in the areas of family violence, child protection and family law. We have duty lawyers who regularly attend Broome, Bunbury, Albany and Kalgoorlie to assist with Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) cases and protection and care cases.
For more information about Legal Aid WA's Stronger Women program see the Fact sheet: Stronger Women.
Legal representation in family law, FVRO and child protection cases
Our lawyers can provide ongoing representation under a grant of aid for some family law cases, protection and care cases and family violence restraining orders cases. A grant of aid will not usually be granted if help can be provided by a duty lawyer service.
Other ways we assist with family law matters
Independent children’s lawyers and child representatives
Specially trained Legal Aid WA lawyers represent children and young people as Independent Children's Lawyers in the Family Court of WA and as Child representatives in protection and care cases in the Children's Court of WA.
Legal Aid WA’s Dispute Resolution service organises and runs mediation conferences to help parents (and other people involved, such as grandparents) reach an agreement about parenting arrangements after separation and at later stages in Family Court proceedings. Conferences are run by family dispute resolution practitioners or qualified mediators. Conferences can be held in Perth and also in Albany, Bunbury or Geraldton.
The service can also run mediation conferences in protection and care cases referred by the Children’s Court. These conferences can be held in Perth and regional locations.
Legal Aid WA Early Intervention Service has specialised staff who can provide advice and legal help to both carers of children and those who have to pay child support or child maintenance.
We are not part of the Department of Human Services - Child Support or Department of Human Services - Centrelink.
Early Intervention Service staff can provide legal advice to payee parents (parents and other people, for example, grandparents who have children in their care and receive child support payments) and payer parents (parents financially supporting children who may not live with them all the time).
We do not provide legal representation but provide ongoing help to people to run their own case.
Reviewed: 13 December 2021