Victoria Legal Aid

Other support for parenting arrangements, child contact and child support

Learn where to get legal help and other support for parenting arrangements, child contact and child support.

Parenting arrangements and child contact

How we can help

Family dispute resolution can help couples who have separated to sort out disputes more quickly and easily than by going to court. Read more about our Family Dispute Resolution Service.

Other organisations that can help

Legal services

Some community legal centres have specialist family law and child support services. Most services are free. See the Community Law websiteExternal Link to find a centre near you.

You can also find a private lawyer near you through the Law Institute of Victoria’s Legal Referral ServiceExternal Link . All law firms included in the Legal Referral Service provide a free 30-minute interview. You can use this interview to understand more about the legal issue and discuss the available options and how much they will cost. Note that the free interview is not 30 minutes of free legal advice.

Family Relationships Online

Visit Family Relationships OnlineExternal Link or contact their advice line to find:

  • a family dispute resolution centre
  • a child contact centre – where children can see their parents or where changeover from one parent to another can happen. Many contact centres also provide support programs for children and parents experiencing family breakdown
  • other services that can help you reach agreement about the children.

Services Australia

The Department of Human Services has information for familiesExternal Link , separated parentsExternal Link and carersExternal Link about their payments and services.

Courts

If you cannot agree with your ex-partner or if your case is not suitable for family dispute resolution, you may need to go to court. In court, decisions about things like parenting orders and division of property can be made. The courts offer help, information and referral services. Go to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia websiteExternal Link for more information.

Court Network volunteersExternal Link support people at court. They are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice, but they can tell you about how court works. They can also make referrals to other community agencies for support after the hearing.

If you want to see a Court Network volunteer, tell the court staff. You can also ring them before you go to court.

Family violence and support services

Family violence services are available for people who wish to leave, or have left, a violent relationship.

If you are experiencing family violence and the situation is urgent do not wait, contact the police on ‘000’.

For more family violence and support services, see Violence, abuse and personal safety.

Resources for parenting arrangements and child contact

These resources will help you understand more about:

  • separation and divorce
  • keeping safe from family violence.

Our resources:

See a list of all our free publications and resourcesExternal Link .

We also have these videos:

Resources from other organisations

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia has free booklets about separation and parenting plansExternal Link to help work out arrangements for the care of children.

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has information about:

Child support

If you have any questions about child support, we recommend contacting Services Australia (Child Support)External Link first. They are responsible for handling all child support matters.

Some of our child support information services are available to everyone, while other more intensive services are offered to people who need it the most.

To help us assess the child support service you need, please use the enquire about a child support appointment form.

Services Australia (Child Support)

Services Australia (Child Support)External Link is responsible for handling child support matters. You can phone the Child Support Enquiry LineExternal Link on 131 272 between 8.30 am and 4.45 pm.

The Automated Child Support information serviceExternal Link is for parents already getting child support payments. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To use this service you need a Child Support Reference Number and a Personal Identification Number.

Support services for separated familiesExternal Link also provides separated parents with a range of services to help them with their child support needs.

Services Australia (Child Support) also has:

How we can help

Please note that our call-back and appointment services are limited.

However, we may be able to provide you with legal information relating to your query.

We also have a range of family law resources that can help you. We also have these videos:

Other organisations that can help

Legal services

Some community legal centres have specialist family law and child support services. Most services are free. See the Federation of Community Legal Centres websiteExternal Link to find a centre near you.

You can also find a private lawyer near you through the Law Institute of Victoria’s Legal Referral ServiceExternal Link . All law firms included in the Legal Referral Service provide a free 30-minute interview. Note that the free interview is not 30 minutes of free legal advice. You can use this interview to understand more about the legal issue and discuss the available options and how much they will cost.

Support services

Contact the Family Relationship Advice LineExternal Link if you need information on family relationship issues and advice on parenting arrangements after separation.

You can also go to Family Relationship OnlineExternal Link to find:

  • a family dispute resolution centre
  • a child contact centre – where children can see their parents or where changeover from one parent to another can occur. Many contact centres also provide support programs for children and parents experiencing family breakdown
  • other services that can help you reach agreement about the children.

Family violence and support services

Family violence services are available for people who wish to leave, or have left, a violent relationship.

If you are experiencing family violence and the situation is urgent do not wait, contact the police on ‘000’.

For more family violence and support services, see Violence, abuse and personal safety.

Financial counselling

Community-based financial counsellors provide free, independent advice and advocacy for people experiencing financial difficulty. They are familiar in dealing with creditor organisations, including banks, debt recovery, payday lenders, utilities, telcos and government bodies (eg councils, Centrelink, Department of Social Services, Australian Taxation Office, Fines Victoria) on behalf of clients.

For telephone advice, or referral to a financial counsellor, call the National Debt HelplineExternal Link on 1800 007 007.

Other ways we can help

Contact us for free information and advice about parenting arrangements, child contact and how we can help you.

If we can’t help, we can refer you to other organisations that can.

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 www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 13 May 2022

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