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Resolving legal issues before they get serious

Who we are

The Family Law Early Intervention Unit (EIU) is a specialist family and care law service. We help people to sort out their family law issues as early as possible before they become serious. Seeing an early intervention lawyer may help you better understand your legal problem and the choices you have.

Sometimes you can sort things out by agreement. There is no cost involved in seeing one of our lawyers. We are separate from Legal Aid NSW’s other family lawyers. This means we can provide assistance even if you are in dispute with someone who is receiving help from another Legal Aid office. If you need ongoing legal assistance, we can help you apply for a grant of legal aid in order to see a private lawyer.

Who we help

We can help if you are a mum, dad, grandparent or other family member. When you meet with us you can bring a person you trust such as a counsellor or close friend or family member. 

Call the Family Law Early Intervention Unit for more information on 1800 551 589

We can help you with:

  • Problems seeing your children
  • Arrangements to look after children
    within the family
  • Property problems after separation
  • Child support
  • Problems with Family and Community
    Services (FaCS, once called DOCS)
  • Applying for a grant of legal aid

We can assist you apply for a grant of legal aid and connect you with other legal aid lawyers, court duty lawyers, private practitioners, or family mediation services.

Call the Family Law Early Intervention Unit for more information on 1800 551 589

Services we provide

  • Legal advice and information
  • Find a family mediation service
  • Find a lawyer to represent you in an ongoing
    case if you are eligible for legal aid
  • Assist you to apply for a grant of legal aid
  • Refer you to court duty services
  • In some cases we can help you by doing something like writing a letter, or contacting an agency, such as a government department, on your behalf.

To find out about the nearest service to you, call or make an appointment on 1800 551 589. In some cases, we can also arrange to provide you with advice by telephone.

Duty lawyer scheme

We have duty lawyers at selected Family Law Courts in New South Wales to help people who don’t have their own lawyer. In some cases we can assist you to prepare urgent applications for court, where a child is at risk of harm.

Outreach lawyer scheme

We have lawyers in more than 30 locations in Sydney and around NSW to provide family law advice and assistance.

Assistance in Family Relationship Centres

We work in partnership with a number of Family Relationship Centres in Sydney and greater New South Wales, to provide advice and assistance to those considering and/or working through the mediation process.

Assistance for Aboriginal People

We provide assistance to Aboriginal people in all our outreach locations. We also provide assistance at some specific Aboriginal services. To find out about the nearest service to you call 1800 551 589.

Assistance for people from culturally linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds

We provide family law advice services in a number of locations for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. An interpreter can be booked when you make an appointment.

Community Legal Education

We provide community legal education on family law and care and protection to community groups, workers and other professionals.

Information and Referral services

We assist in connecting people with other lawyers in Legal Aid NSW, other Legal Aid NSW services, and Legal Aid court duty lawyers. We assist with referral to private lawyers, family mediation services and other community and government services.

Call the Family Law Early Intervention Unit for more information about our services on 1800 551 589 or email us at eiuadminstaff@legalaid.nsw.gov.au

TIS Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) provides free interpreters if you do not speak English. TIS can help you talk to us in your language. Call TIS on 131 450

If you are hearing or speech impaired you can contact us by calling the

NRS symbol National Relay Service (NRS) on 133 677

TTY symbol TTY 9219 5126 (Central Sydney) or TTY 9747 0214 (Burwood) 

LawAccess NSW provides legal information, referrals and in some cases advice. Call 1300 888 529

This brochure is available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi/Dari, Korean, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. A brochure about EIU services for Aboriginal people is also available.


This information is intended as a general guide to the law. It should not be relied on as legal advice and it is recommended that you talk to a lawyer about your particular situation.

At the time of updating, the information shown is correct but may be subject to change. If you need more help, contact LawAccess on 1300 888 529.

A print copy of this brochure may be ordered online.

June 2014