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Legal resources for COVID-19

UPDATE: If you need legal help call LawAccess NSW on 1300 888 529 or contact your local Legal Aid office.

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.


  1. Public Health Orders

    PHO Greater Sydney

    COVID-19: Breaches of the Public Health Orders

    Breaches of orders made under the Public Health Act 2010 are a criminal offence and attract heavy penalties, including fines. These include general orders about mask wearing, self-isolating, COVID-19 safe check-in procedures and registering positive rapid antigen tests with the government. This factsheet will tell you what happens if you don’t follow the orders and where you can get help and more information.

    Factsheet available in: English

    PHO Greater Sydney

    COVID-19: Public Health Orders – Section 62

    A Public Health Order under Section 62 of the Public Health Act is an order made against a person by a doctor working for NSW Health. A doctor can make a PHO against you if you have COVID-19 and are behaving in a way that risks infecting other people. These orders are different from the government rules that apply to everyone living in NSW like the mask-wearing. This factsheet says when a doctor can make a PHO against you and what they can order you to do.

    Factsheet available in: English

  2. Domestic and family violence

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

  3. Families, relationships and children
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    COVID-19: Vaccinations for children - who makes the decision?

    This factsheet gives guidance on how to resolve disagreements between parents about COVID-19 vaccinations for their children.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    COVID-19: Changes to Family Law court processes and tips for representing yourself

    The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has made changes to the way they work to limit the spread of COVID-19. This factsheet explains how these changes might affect you and things to consider when appearing in court by phone or via technology.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

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    COVID-19: Mediation by telephone

    A mediation, or family dispute resolution conference, can help you resolve your family law problems quickly and without the need to go to court. To help keep everyone safer during this pandemic, all Legal Aid NSW family law mediations will happen over the telephone. This factsheet will help you prepare for and attend a telephone mediation.

    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

  4. Guardianship and mental health
    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.

    Factsheet available in: English

  5. Jobs and employment

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    COVID-19: Employment

    There are lots of ways that COVID-19 might affect you and your work. This factsheet answers questions about your employment rights during the COVID-19 pandemic, including vaccination, dismissal and your rights if you or a family member are sick with COVID-19

    Factsheet available in: English

Wellbeing resources

Your mental wellbeing is important. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you’re not alone. There are services that can support you through these difficult times.

For immediate assistance

  • Beyond Blue 1800 51 23 48
  • Lifeline Australia 13 11 14
  • Domestic Violence Line  1800 65 64 63
  • 1800RESPECT 1800 73 77 32
  • Suicide Callback Service 1300 65 94 67

Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Health Wellbeing Support Service

This service can help you find information, advice and strategies to manage your wellbeing. Talk to one of their trained counsellors at any time. Sessions are one-on-one, confidential and based on your needs. Call 1800 51 23 84 or visit https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/

Counselling and crisis services

Find more information, counselling and tools to help with mental wellbeing on these trusted websites:

  • Black Dog Institute is a free online clinic providing a mental health assessment tool and other support services.
  • Head to Health can help you find digital mental health and wellbeing resources.
  • Lifeline (13 11 14 - operates 24/7) provides crisis support and suicide prevention services.
  • RUOK? inspires and empowers everyone to meaningfully connect with people and support anyone who may be struggling with life.
  • ReachOut provides practical tools and support to help young people get through everything from everyday issues to tough times.
  • Kids Helpline (1800 55 18 00 - operates 24/7) is a telephone counselling support line for children and young people ages 5 to 25.