Family law duty lawyer
There is a free family law duty lawyer in the Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville Family and Federal Circuit Courts. The service also visits other Queensland towns to coincide with the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court's circuit dates.
The service provides free basic legal help to people self-representing before the Family and Federal Circuit Courts including free legal advice.
The service is aimed at people who turn up to court for a session that day without having received any information or advice from a lawyer.
When can I see the family law duty lawyer?
You can see the family law duty lawyer on the day you have to go to court if you are self-representing and have not yet received legal advice.
The family law duty lawyer may assist with negotiations about consent orders for children or property matters. In special circumstances and subject to demand, the family law duty lawyer may represent people in simple court matters such as adjournments or procedural mentions.
What can the family law duty lawyer do?
The family law duty lawyer may assist with:
- Advice and information limited to the court event that day.
- Representation for adjournments and short or procedural mentions where there are special circumstances or in limited circumstances.
- Special circumstances are those which impact upon a litigant’s capacity to appear on their own behalf such as disability, literacy, language barriers, cultural issues or geographical location.
- Representation for limited negotiations with a view to drafting consent orders.
Assistance, subject to the discretion and availability of the duty lawyer, may also extend to include:
- representation for recovery orders, or
- urgent injunctions regarding children.
The family law duty lawyer does not assist you for:
- Completion of complex documentation and affidavits.
- Representation for interim hearings, contested hearings, contravention applications and final hearings/trials.
- Witnessing documents.
- Drafting property agreements.
- Viewing subpoena records.
- Representation at conciliation conference.
- Appearance in the defaulter’s list or to issue a trial notice, or
- Appearance or appointment as a child representative.
- It is very important that you bring your court documents with you when you attend court. If you fail to bring your court documents, any assistance provided by a family law duty lawyer will be limited.
- Assistance by family law duty lawyers will normally be provided on one occasion only during the course of proceedings.
- If you have experienced domestic violence, need an interpreter, have difficulty reading and writing or have a disability, make sure you tell the duty lawyer.