Victoria Legal Aid

Family Advocacy and Support Services

If you have experienced, used or are alleged to have used family violence, we can provide you with a duty lawyer and social support workers.

About this service

Family Advocacy and Support Services are available at:

  • the Family Law Registry in Melbourne and Dandenong on a full-time basis, and
  • circuit locations of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) at Geelong, Warrnambool, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Mildura and Morwell when the court is sitting on circuit.

If you have experienced, used, or are alleged to have used family violence, a duty lawyer can help you with your legal problem, and family violence support and mental health support workers can help you work through other issues.

This service is about helping you get your life back on track.

Am I eligible?

This service is for families involved in family law proceedings who are affected by family violence.

You are eligible for support under this service if:

  • you are currently involved, or will soon be involved,in family law proceedings, and
  • you or a family member have experienced family violence, or
  • you or a family member have used or are alleged to have used family violence in your relationship; and
  • you need legal assistance with family law, child protection or family violence intervention orders.

Our duty lawyer can provide you with assistance on a one-off basis. Examples of what our duty lawyer can help you with:

  • legal advice, information and referral about family law, family violence protection orders and child protection matters
  • applying for legal aid
  • recovery orders
  • some urgent family law proceedings

Examples of what our duty lawyer cannot help you with:

  • ongoing assistance and representation
  • subpoenas
  • completing complex documents
  • final hearings.

Our duty lawyer will assess your immediate needs. You may need to wait for assistance if there are other people with urgent issues that the duty lawyer must prioritise.

Help with other issues – social support services

A family violence support worker and a mental health support worker can help you work with the family law process in a way that keeps you and your family safe.

The family violence support worker and mental health support worker can also connect you with the services that you need. These might include:

  • accommodation
  • financial counselling
  • drug and alcohol support services
  • ongoing mental health supports.

Contact our Family and Support Services

There have been changes to services at court in response to COVID-19 and remote court hearings, but you can still get legal and non-legal help from our Family Advocacy and Support Services (FASS).

Our duty lawyers and social support workers are now available via phone to provide you with legal and non-legal support. They are also available in-person when the court is conducting in-person hearings.

Call us on (03) 8610 9803 and ask to speak to the FASS information referral officer. They will ask you to provide some personal information so that they can arrange help for you from a family lawyer and help from a support worker.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

Reviewed 26 September 2022

In this section