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Early intervention in family law

14 Oct 2011

Legal Aid NSW has established an early intervention family law service to assist clients before their matters become serious and entrenched in litigation

Early Intervention Unit

The Early Intervention Unit provides a duty lawyer service at Parramatta, Central Sydney and most recently, Newcastle.
The EIU works closely with the Family Law Courts, Family Relationship Centres and local service providers to improve services for clients and make themselves accessible to communities. EIU staff also go on the road to provide advice in local venues such as neighbourhood centres to assist people that might otherwise be unable to obtain any free legal advice.

An example of how early intervention works
Mrs S arrived from overseas. Mrs S had been intending to relocate to Australia with her partner (an Australian citizen). In preparing for this relocation, the parties had agreed to leave their two-year-old child with the paternal grandmother pending their arrival.

When Mrs S had returned overseas, her partner told her that he was separating from her and withdrawing his sponsorship of her visa application. Mrs S was pregnant and had no money to return to Australia until August 2011.
Mrs S arrived in the duty room at the Sydney Family Law Courts. She was assisted by Legal Aid NSW lawyers who prepared an urgent application for recovery and a supporting affidavit. The matter was listed before the Court and recovery orders issued for the return of the child to the mother.

The matter was then referred to our inhouse practice who went on to prepare the ongoing proceedings.

For more information please see the Early Intervention Unit page on our website.