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Legal resources for COVID-19

UPDATE: We have temporarily moved our services to phone, email or AVL. If you need legal help, call 1300 888 529 or contact your local Legal Aid office. Some changes have also been made to our duty lawyer services. Find out more.

Legal Aid NSW has produced a range of resources and collated resources from other Government departments to assist individuals affected by legal issues during COVID-19.

Please find resources under the topic you are interested in:

  1. Understanding COVID-19 restrictions
      
    Understanding COVID-19 restrictions image 

    Understanding COVID-19 restrictions

    COVID-19 restrictions are in place - which means you must stay home unless you have a reasonable excuse. This factsheet outlines what the COVID-19 restrictions are and what the restrictions mean for you. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English ; Arabic ; Chinese (Simplified) ; Dari/Farsi ; Filipino ; Greek ; Hindi ; Italian ; Punjabi ; Spanish ; Vietnamese

  2. Courts, police and crime
      
    ADVOs publication image 

    COVID-19: ADVOs - advice for defendants

    NSW Courts have changed the usual way they deal with ADVO applications to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19. April 2020.

    Available in: English

  3. Domestic violence
      

    ADVO Factsheet thumbnail 

    COVID-19: Apprehended domestic violence orders

    Domestic and family violence can become worse during a crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be worried about your safety, or the safety of someone you know. Police can make an application in court for an apprehended domestic violence order (ADVO) to keep you and your children safer. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


    Are you worried image

    COVID-19: Are you worried about domestic and family violence?

    Domestic and family violence can become worse during a crisis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you might be worried about your safety, or the safety of someone you know. This factsheet has information about keeping safe during the COVID:19 pandemic. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


    It's not safe image

    COVID-19: It's not safe for me to stay at home - what should I do?

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be harder for you to find a time when it is safe to leave your home because of family and domestic violence. This factsheet provides information about things you should consider when making a plan to leave. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

  4. Families, relationships and children
      
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    COVID-19: Changes to Family Law court processes and tips for representing yourself

    The Family Law Courts have made changes to the way they work to stop the spread of COVID-The information in this fact sheet might change as the pandemic continues. It is important you contact the courts directly for the most up to date information. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


    Child support family payments image

    COVID-19: Child support and family payments

    If care arrangements for your child change or your income changes because of COVID-19, this could affect your child support assessment and family tax benefit payments. This factsheet is part of a series from Legal Aid NSW that aims to help answer your questions about COVID-19 and family law. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


    Example parenting plan image 

    COVID-19: Example parenting plan

    This example parenting plan can be used * if you are making a parenting plan for the first time * if you have court orders. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Family law and school shutdowns image  COVID-19: Family law and school shutdowns

    This factsheet answers questions you might have about school and parenting arrangements such as: If I choose to not send my child to school, can I get into trouble with child welfare authorities, the courts, or the police? How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect family law orders in place about school pickups and holiday visits? Who should care for my child during a pandemic if I have to work? April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


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    COVID-19: Financial stress and separating families

    Separation can be a time of financial stress for many families, and many people have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This factsheet offers tips for dealing with financial stress. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Getting a divorce image  COVID-19: Getting a divorce

    Changes to court processes due to COVID-19 may affect the way you apply for divorce and your divorce hearing. If you plan to apply for a divorce or have applied for divorce and have a hearing date, this factsheet aims to help you understand the changes. This factsheet gives you information about completing a divorce application online at home, how to use the Commonwealth Courts Portal, how divorce hearings have changed, and where you can get help. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Having contact image 

    COVID-19: Having contact with my children when they are in care during the pandemic

    This factsheet will help you understand what to do if you have children in care or you have a case with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ). April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


    I already have parenting orders image 

    COVID-19: I already have parenting orders: what happens now?

    The COVID-19 pandemic may mean that existing court orders about care arrangements for children are no longer practical or in the best interests of children. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


    Making parenting arrangements image 

    COVID-19: Making parenting arrangements if you and your partner separate

    The COVID-19 pandemic may make it more difficult to make parenting arrangements if you and your partner separate. The family law courts have made changes to the way they operate. This factsheet outlines what you can do if you or your partner must self-isolate and how to make a parenting plan. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


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    COVID-19: Mediation by telephone

    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been changes in the way family law courts operate. These changes mean that the courts will only hear urgent applications in the coming months. The pandemic might also mean that parents who have previously made arrangements for their children are unsure how the arrangements will work now. A mediation, or family dispute resolution conference, can help you resolve your family law problems quickly and without the need to go to court. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    COVID-19: Telephone mediation scheme

    The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on separated families in a number of ways. You may be finding that it is difficult or even impossible to follow the usual arrangements you have in place for your children because of the current restrictions. Legal Aid NSW has introduced a mediation process (“the Scheme”) to help parents decide on alternative arrangements that are in the best interests of their children to provide much needed certainty at this difficult time. May 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English


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    COVID-19: What courts consider when making orders about children

    If you have children when you separate, you will need to make parenting arrangements that cover all the things that will be relevant for parenting children. It can be helpful to know what the court will consider important. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

  5. Government and rights
      
    Centrelink image  COVID-19: Centrelink

    In response to COVID-19 the Australian Government has made changes to support individuals and families who have lost work or income. The changes mean that some people will be able to access Centrelink payments who were not able. Centrelink have made it quicker for people who have lost work or income to access some payments. This factsheet will give you information about the changes. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Guardianship and mental health image  COVID-19: Guardianship and Mental Health

    You may be worried or confused about how COVID-19 will affect you and your everyday life. Sometimes a crisis can make legal problems worse or new problems might develop. This factsheet outlines what to do if you are detained in a hospital under the Mental Health Act, and how Legal Aid can help you. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Housing image  COVID-19: Housing

    You may be worried or confused about how COVID-19 will affect you and your everyday life. Sometimes a crisis can make legal problems worse or new problems might develop. This factsheet has information about housing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, including eviction, breaking a lease, social housing and homelessness. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Public health order image  COVID-19: Public health orders - what do I need to know?

    The NSW Government has issued public health orders to limit the spread of COVID-19. The orders have been issued under the Public Health Act. The police have powers to give fines to people who don’t follow the new orders. This factsheet tells you what the orders say you must do, what fines you could get and what to do if you get a fine. #WDO April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Understanding COVID-19 restrictions image

    COVID-19: Understanding COVID-19 restrictions

    COVID-19 restrictions are in place - which means you must stay home unless you have a reasonable excuse. This factsheet outlines what the COVID-19 restrictions are and what the restrictions mean for you. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English ; Arabic ; Chinese (Simplified) ; Dari/Farsi ; Filipino ; Greek ; Hindi ; Italian ; Punjabi ; Spanish ; Vietnamese


    SEOCON message image

    Message to communities from the NSW State Emergency Operations Controller

    Message regarding the Public Health (COVID-19 Quarantine) Order 2020, the rules around self-isolation, and fines associated with these rules.

    This publication is available in a variety of languages: EnglishArabic ; Chinese (Simplified) ; GreekHindiItalian ; SpanishVietnamese

  6. Housing and tenancy
      
    Housing image COVID-19: Housing

    You may be worried or confused about how COVID-19 will affect you and your everyday life. Sometimes a crisis can make legal problems worse or new problems might develop. This factsheet has information about housing issues during the COVID-19 pandemic, including eviction, breaking a lease, social housing and homelessness. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

  7. Jobs and employment
      

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    COVID-19: Employment

    You may be worried or confused about how COVID-19 will affect you and your everyday life. Sometimes a crisis can make legal problems worse or new problems might develop. This factsheet has information about your employment rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

  8. Money, debt and fines
      

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    COVID-19: Money worries

    You may be worried or confused about how COVID-19 will affect you and your everyday life. Sometimes a crisis can make legal problems worse or new problems might develop. This factsheet has infomation about how to get help with money worries, including debts, loans, bills, insurance claims and superannuation. April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

    Public health order imageCOVID-19: Public health orders - what do I need to know?

    The NSW Government has issued public health orders to limit the spread of COVID-19. The orders have been issued under the Public Health Act. The police have powers to give fines to people who don’t follow the new orders. This factsheet tells you what the orders say you must do, what fines you could get and what to do if you get a fine. #WDO April 2020.

    Factsheet available in: English

  9. Practitioner resources
      
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    COVID-19: Appearing in courts and tribunals for legal practitioners

    Each Court and Tribunal is providing regular updates about the process for appearing in proceedings. The best sources for those updates are the Court websites however we have put together this factsheet as a compilation of the most recent updates. April 2020

    Changes to Centrelink for refugees  COVID-19: Changes to Centrelink for refugees

    This factsheet has been created for community workers or other practitioners working with refugees to provide information about how the changes to Centrelink benefits may affect refugees. April 2020.
    Good practice guide for community workers image COVID-19: Good practice guide for community workers: young people with criminal law matters

    This factsheet has been created for community workers to understand how COVID-19 has affected young people with criminal law matters. May 2020.
    Good practice guide image 

    COVID-19: Good practice guide for lawyers - meeting with children via technology

    The outbreak of COVID-19 across Australia has created risks related to in-person contact that could potentially have serious consequences. However, even when you can’t meet a child in person you can and should communicate with them. This factsheet provides guidance for lawyers about meeting with children via technology. April 2020.

    Going out during COVID  COVID-19: Going out during COVID-19 for refugees

    This factsheet has been created for community workers or other practitioners working with refugees to provide answers to some commonly asked questions. April 2020.
     

    Department of Communities and Justice - Courtroom meeting space (Quick reference guide)

     

    District Court - Virtual court practitioner user guide

  10. Public Safety (Images and GIFs)
     

    These images and GIFs can be shared with the community and is available in a range of languages.

    To save a GIF image, click the relevant link, right-click on the image, and "Save image as" to your computer.

    Let's look after each other image  Let's look after each other GIF - it's a difficult time but we need to look after each other in this time.

    Available in Arabic ; Chinese (Simplified) ; Filipino ; Greek ; Hindi ; Italian ; Punjabi ; Spanish ; Vietnamese
    AC Look after each other image  Look after each other - Aboriginal communities GIF

    Available in English (no voiceover) ; English (with voiceover)
    AC Look after our communities  Look after our communities - Aboriginal communities GIF

    Available in English (no voiceover) ; English (with voiceover)
    Together against COVID image  Together against COVID-19 - Legal Aid NSW GIF

    Available in English
    We have the opportunity image  We have the opportunity GIF - we all can work together to stop the spread of coronavirus

    Available in English ; Arabic ; Chinese (Simplified) ; Filipino ; Greek ; Hindi ; Italian ; Punjabi ; Spanish ; Vietnamese
  11. Resources from other government organisations