This section gathers together information about legal issues that may be relevant to single parents and blended families. 

Getting legal help

When families and partners separate, there are legal issues involved which often require the assistance of a third party. If you are facing a family problem or situation that might require legal help, it is likely that the Family Court will be able to help.

The Family Court aims to help people sort out their own issues and to ensure the interests of children are represented. Providing families with help doesn't always involve actually going to Court.

There are many advice and support services that the Family Court will provide or recommend to you first, depending on the nature of your problem. For example, many family issues are resolved after counselling.

If you need legal help, contact the Family Legal Advice Service, a family lawyer, a community law centre, or the nearest Family Court office.

Legal Aid

Anyone who needs a lawyer but can't afford one may be able to get legal aid. Legal aid is the government programme that pays a lawyer's fees if you cannot afford a lawyer to represent you.

Legal aid is available for all Family Court cases, except dissolution of marriage (divorce). If you are granted legal aid, payment is made directly to an approved legal aid lawyer.

There are different eligibility thresholds for legal aid, which may include some repayment. The Family Legal Advice Service decides who gets legal aid based on the law.

There are also different financial thresholds for legal aid, depending on your circumstances. If you get legal aid, you may have to pay some or all of it back. You can use this calculation tool to give you an indication of whether you might be financially eligible for legal aid.

Find a legal aid lawyer in your area.