Frequently Asked Questions
TCLS & ICLS (FAMILY)
Am I eligible for this service?
How will this service help me?
- Our Family Law practitioners may provide you with legal advice on parenting matters, divorce or domestic violence issues.
- We also provide information sessions on family law matters in conjunction with the Toowoomba Family Relationships Centre.
- Individual legal advice on parenting issues.
- Information sessions in conjunction with Toowoomba Family Relationship Centre.
How do I access this service?
For individual appointments on Monday evening 5.00-7.00 pm or Tuesday afternoons 1.00-4.30 pm. Phone 07 4699 5444
For group sessions Phone 07 4699 5444 for further information.
Will I be charged for the advice?
We provide free advice and representation to eligible clients. Our funding for this service comes from the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department.
Phone 07 4699 5444 or 1300 348 248
My partner and I have decided to separate and need to organize the time the children spend with each of us. How can we do this?
Your agreement can remain unwritten but can also be recorded as a written parenting plan which is signed by each of you or you can formalise the agreement as Consent Orders which are submitted to the Family Court.
My partner and I cannot agree on what is best for the children. What do we do now?
If you and your partner only need assistance to come to an agreement contact the Family Relationship Centre in Toowoomba or Ipswich where qualified and registered family mediators will guide you through an agreement to a parenting plan.
Do we have to go to court?
Before taking the step towards court you will first have to attend mediation (unless the children are at risk of harm or the matter is urgent or family violence) and show that you have each made a genuine effort to come to an agreement. If no agreement is possible, or one party refuses to attend, the mediator will issue a certificate of attendance at mediation, often referred to as a 60-I certificate.
What is a parenting Plan?
From a legal perspective a parenting plan cannot be enforced by the courts but if the agreement breaks down and one of you seeks the courts’ assistance to resolve the matter, the parenting plan may be taken into consideration by the court as evidence of your original intentions.
What are Consent Orders?
However, Consent Orders are more specifically drafted than a parenting plan and a form providing your personal details must be completed and filed in the Registry of the Family Court of Australia.
Once filed, a Registrar of the Family Court will review the agreement and, if satisfied that the agreement is in the Best Interests of the Children, will formalise them with the seal of the Court.
If a Consent Order is breached and the breach not remedied in mediation, the issue may be brought before the courts.
For more information:
My partner has taken the children and won’t bring them back home and won’t let me see them. How do I get them back?
You may need to arrange an urgent mediation if you are still in contact with your partner, but if that is not possible you may need to make an urgent application to the Court.
The action taken may depend on the type of agreement you and your partner have for the care of the children.
As each case will have different circumstances an urgent appointment with a lawyer to review your options would be the best place to start.
The following link will provide you with more detailed information.
More detailed information on parenting plans and consent orders can be found on the following Legal Aid link.
What must I prove to the courts to obtain a divorce?
When can I divorce my partner?
It is possible that this 12 months period can include a short reconciliation but any reconciliation greater than a couple of months will cause the 12 month requirement to start over.
My partner and I have only been married for a short time. Can we apply for a divorce?
You will have to be separated for 12 months or more before you submit your application.
My partner and I separated over 12 months ago but have continued to live in the same house. Can we apply for a divorce now?
These requirements are more difficult to establish if there is no obvious separation so you and your partner will each need to file an affidavit outlining the reasons for remaining in the same home as well as evidence of separate life styles and financial circumstances. If possible, an affidavit from a friend and/or a relative would strengthen your application.
The following link will provide you with more detailed information.
Do we have to attend the divorce hearing?
If you have been living under one roof for any part of the 12 month requirement or if the respondent party challenges the application, you will be required to attend the hearing.
If you are unable to attend the court in person you may ask to appear by telephone. To do this you will need to submit a form to the court registry.
If you have no children, or there are over the age of 18, and there are no complicating factors, you will not need to attend the hearing and will be informed of the result in due course.
What if I don’t want to divorce my partner?
If you consider that there are legal reasons that a divorce should not be granted then you may complete a ‘Response’ form and submit it to the Registry.
What will it cost me to apply for a divorce?
It is possible to have the fee, or part of it, waived if you have a current Health Care Card. You will need to submit a Fee waiver form with your application.
The following link will provide you with more information.
Is Domestic Violence only physical violence?
Where can I get help?
Information about Women’s Refuge can be obtained on 1800 811 811
If the matter is not urgent you may consider seeking help from a counsellor who could help you make a safety plan and possibly provide you with ongoing support.
Contact an agency such as Lifeline (13 11 14), Relationships Australia (1300 364 277) or Centacare ( ) for further information.
What is a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
How do I apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
Before seeking an Order on your own behalf you should seek legal advice.
What happens if the Order is breached?
A written record of events and dates would greatly assist the police deal appropriately with the complaint.
Can I change the Order?
If you and the Respondent separated prior to the Order but decide to live together again then you should seek advice to have the Order varied as the Respondent could be in breach of that order.
The following link will provide you with more detailed information:
What can I do if I have been served with a Domestic Violence Protection Order?
What are my options?
- You may ‘Consent without admission’. This means that you agree to the order being made but do not admit to the facts contained in the Application.
- You may request an adjournment to allow you time to seek legal advice.
- You may challenge the Application. The matter will then be set down for hearing.
Should you opt for either 2 or 3 above, it is likely that a Temporary Protection Order will be made against you.
If you do not attend court the Magistrate may adjourn the matter, however, an Order could be made against you in your absence. Non-appearance on a second date would result in an order being made against you.