Parents and carers often approach us for advice and assistance with issues they're facing in their family. KCLS can provide people with legal advice and assistance on legal issues involving the care of children and young people, as well as dealing with family violence.
Many women and children live with or witness family violence regardless of their class or ethnic background. Family violence is not just physical abuse and includes harassment, control of money and emotional abuse.
If you're experiencing family violence you can speak to a KCLS lawyer for advice on how to protect yourself and your children. A lawyer can help you to plan for your safety, speak with the Police or apply for or vary a Violence Restraining Order.
Family Law - Children
Relationship or marriage break-ups can be difficult and complex for anyone to deal with when arrangements need to be made for the care of children.
The law says it’s important for children to have a meaningful relationship with each of their parents and other people who are important in their lives (such as grandparents), as long as the relationship is in the children’s best interests and doesn’t put them at risk of harm.
The law says parents and carers must attempt to resolve parenting disputes through mediation before going to Court. One option is to attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).
A lawyer at KCLS can speak to you before you attend FDR to give you advice on your rights and options before you go to FDR. If you can't reach an agreement at FDR or your situation is too urgent to wait for FDR, you can speak to a lawyer at KCLS about your options.
Care and Protection
When there are allegations of family violence, neglect and or emotional or physical abuse of a child, the Department of Child Protection and Support (CPFS) may intervene in the care of a child or young person. CPFS might ask to meet with you or they might hand you some paperwork about your child or young person.
In these situations a lawyer at KCLS can speak to you about how the child protection law works and advise you on your rights. We can also help you to develop plans, speak to CPFS and tell your side of the story. You don't have to wait until you're in Court to speak with a lawyer. You can talk to a lawyer at KCLS as soon as you get paperwork from CPFS or are asked to have a meeting with them. It's usually better to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible, to see if things can be sorted out before Court. If you go to Court we may be able to help you tell your story to the Court and CPFS.
Pam came to KCLS after CPFS had removed her granddaughter, Lequisha from her daughter who was drinking heavily and not taking Lequisha to the doctor. Pam wanted to care for Lequisha and wanted legal advice on what she could do and how she could speak with CPFS.
KCLS advised Pam that her options were to speak with CPFS and apply to be a relative carer or to make an application to be joined to the court proceedings and to have Lequisha placed in her care. KCLS attended meetings with CPFS and helped Pam to work with and negotiate with CPFS staff.
After Pam had Lequisha placed in her care, her daughter started coming to her home when she was intoxicated and threatening to hurt Pam or herself if she didn’t hand over Lequisha. Pam explained this to her lawyer at KCLS and received assistance to apply for a Violence Restraining Order which stopped Pam’s daughter from coming to Pam's house and threatening her.
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Call us for free on 1800 686 020. You can get more information on how to contact KCLS by clicking the button below.
You can contact KCLS by phone to arrange to talk to our staff when they visit your community. KCLS is happy to be invited to talk with groups and at meetings.