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Family law

For free legal help:

Legal Aid Queensland 
Phone 1300 65 11 88 (for the cost of a local call from a landline in Australia)

Community Legal Centres Queensland 
Phone 07 3392 0092

Or look under “Community Legal Centres” in your local phone book.

For information and support:

Family Relationship Advice Line 
Phone 1800 050 321

Relationships Australia 
Phone 1300 364 277

If you need an interpreter to help you contact a service phone TIS 131 450

Activity sheets for this story:

Video transcript

Title: Famiy law

Yohani: She’s always complaining I don’t give her enough money.
Maria: He’s always complaining I don’t cook the food he likes.
1st voice: The children need a loving family.
2nd voice: You should listen to your husband.
3rd voice: You should listen to your wife and help her.
Maria: Sora, it was OK for a while, but now we are always fighting. I don’t want to live with him any more. But I’m afraid I’ll lose my children. And I won’t have enough money.
Sora: I think the law’s different here in Australia. You need to talk to a lawyer.
Maria: What happens if I want a divorce?
Lawyer: You must be separated for at least 12 months, and you can get a divorce even if your husband doesn’t want one.
Maria: And what will happen to my children?
Lawyer: The law says children have the right to see both parents, as long as they are safe. And both parents should work together to make important decisions about their children.
Maria: What about money? How will we live?
Lawyer: We can talk about that now.
Lawyer: The law is the same for men and women.
Yohani: So what will happen?
Lawyer: The law says children should have a relationship with both parents.
Yohani: OK but what about the car and the furniture? And we owe money to the bank.
Lawyer: I can explain how to sort out your property and your debts. I will write to Maria about the children and see if we can try mediation.
Yohani: What’s mediation?
Lawyer: Mediation is when we sit and talk and try to agree on things - for example when you spend time with the children and how much time.
Yohani: Can I get an interpreter?
Lawyer: Of course.
Yohani: What if we can’t agree?
Lawyer: Well, then you have to go to court.
Mediator: So, Maria and Yohani, the children will stay with Yohani every Wednesday night and every second weekend. The rest of the time they will live with Maria. Is that OK with both of you?
Maria’s lawyer: I just want to talk to Maria about this privately. Is this OK?
Mediator: Yes, of course.
Maria’s lawyer: I just wanted to check that you are OK with these times? If you are not OK you do not have to agree and you can let the court decide.
Maria: I like the arrangement; it is a good arrangement for the children and for me.
Yohani: Yes, I am OK with the arrangement.
Mediator: What about you Maria?
Maria: Yes, that’s fine.
Mediator: Would it help if we put this agreement into writing so we all know what would happen?
Yohani and Maria: Yes, thank you.

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Last updated 18 June 2020

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