This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit legalaid.vic.gov.au, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Services and info for clients about resolving family disputes

Services and information for clients related to resolving family disputes.

VLA produces publications and information on the website for clients about this topic.

See VLA resources for clients.

Family Relationships Online

This site has information about family relationship issues. It provides a free family relationship information line and has information about government funded family relationship centres and other information to support parents and other family members, whether they have separated or not.

Parties will need to call and make a booking.

The can also choose to seek advice by phone Family Relationships Online—Family relationship advice line(opens in a new window).

See:

To find the closest registered family dispute resolution practitioner:

See Family Relationships Online—Family Dispute Resolution Register(opens in a new window).

This site also has information to explain how children are affected by their parents separating. It explains how this varies according to their ages.

See Family Relationships Online—Talking to children about separation(opens in a new window).

Family Relationship Centres

There are 65 family relationship centres in Australia, funded by the Commonwealth Government. These centres provide family dispute resolution to help separating families to work out parenting arrangements without having to go to court. Many of the services are free or offered at low cost on a sliding scale according to income.

To locate a Victorian centre see Family Relationships Online—Family Dispute Resolution Register(opens in a new window).

Relationships Australia

The Relationships Australia website has a range of information to help clients who are separating. They also have information about how children react when their parents separate.

For example, see:

Federal Circuit and Family Court

The court website has a fact sheet to explain the benefits of dispute resolution.

See Federal Circuit and Family Court—Separate smarter overview(opens in a new window).

Amica: to help separating couples

Amica is an online tool, developed by National Legal Aid, that is designed to empower separating couples to resolve their family law disputes online. The tool is designed for couples whose relationship is relatively amicable to negotiate and communicate with each other online, in their own time and space.

The tool uses artificial intelligence technology to suggest the way assets should be split, taking into account:

  • the particular circumstances of the separating couple
  • the kinds of agreements that couples in similar circumstances have made, and
  • how courts generally handle these kinds of disputes.

The tool creates a suggested division of assets, which can be used to formalise a property agreement or to use to apply to court for consent orders.

The tool can also help parents to develop a parenting plan for their children.

Cost

There is fee ranging from $165 to $440 per couple, depending on their circumstances. .

See Amica(opens in a new window).

Community legal centres offer important community-based services, including free legal advice and assistance and advocacy, community legal education activities, and law reform activities.

There are generalist and specialist legal centres. Generalist centres will normally only service clients living, working or studying in their surrounding area. Specialist centres focus on:

  • groups with specific needs, including women, Indigenous people or young people
  • areas of law, including disability, mental health, employment, social security, consumer and tena ncy.

See Federation of Community Legal Centres(opens in a new window).

Law Institute Victoria

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) Legal Referral Service provides client referrals to lawyers across Victoria. The referral service operates a telephone service during business hours and an online service through the LIV website.

Referrals are tailored to meet client needs and provide a listing of up to three law firms practising in a particular area of law. All law firms participating in the referral service undertake to see clients for the first 30 minutes free of charge. This interview can be used to determine the nature of the legal issue and discuss the available options. Normal fees are charged after the first 30 minutes or if work needs to be prepared on the client’s behalf.

Phone (03) 9607 9550.

See Law Institute Victoria—Legal Referral Service(opens in a new window).

This is VLA's online referral booking and information tool.

See Legal Help Online (Orbit(opens in a new window)).

Court, CLC, FRC and VLA panels locator

Use Toby's maps to locate community legal centres, courts and private lawyers on the Victoria Legal Aid panel. Search for a list of services near where the caller lives. Search by postcode, name of organisation, phone number or suburb. Tick/untick the boxes to select the search categories.

Do not hit enter to avoid searching globally. Hit F5 to undo this global search.

See Google maps link for CLCs and 29A panellists(opens in a new window).

For Generalist CLCs and Local Government Agencies see Google maps link for General CLCs(opens in a new window).

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