South West Community Legal Centre Inc.
South West Community Legal Centre Inc. is committed to equity and social justice for all.
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Serving the South West region for 30+ years.
Duty Lawyer Services
Family Advocacy Support Service
In conjunction with Legal Aid Western Australia, the South West Community Legal Centre provides Family Advocacy and Support Services ('FASS') during the Family Court of Western Australia Bunbury Circuit.
FASS is a free specialist family violence service that provides legal and social support services to people with a family law problem who are affected by family violence. We provide a duty lawyer and paralegal to support people attending the Family Court of Western Australia during the Bunbury Circuit. At the same time, Waratah Support Centre provides specialist social support, including a dedicated men's social support worker.
Who can use our FASS duty lawyer service?
Any party to a family law dispute involving allegations of family violence can ask for legal assistance from our duty lawyer. Anyone affected by family violence in a family law matter can access the social support service. Our clients often include mothers, fathers, grandparents and other extended family members.
How can we help?
Our duty lawyer can provide advice about:
care arrangements for children,
urgent property matters,
family violence restraining orders, and
protection and care matters.
Our duty lawyer may help clients to prepare documents in a Family Court matter, negotiate for a client, and appear in court. How much the duty lawyer can help a client will depend on the client’s particular circumstances, the urgency and seriousness of the issue, and the needs of other people using the service on the day. We do not assist on an ongoing basis.
The FASS social support service can help with:
referrals to other services,
in-court support, and
by advocating for a client with organisations outside the court system.
Family Violence Restraining Order Duty Lawyer Service
We provide a duty lawyer to assist with Family Violence Restraining Order matters every Tuesday in the Bunbury Magistrates Court and every second Wednesday in the Busselton Magistrates Court. We work closely with a social support worker provided by Waratah Support Centre.
Our duty lawyer can provide advice to applicants at the initial stage of their violence restraining order application. Our lawyer can also provide assistance to, and can represent clients at later stages of the proceedings, but we do not represent clients at trial.
We can assist clients to:
negotiate with the other party,
draft court documents, and
can represent clients at court hearings.
How much the duty lawyer can help a client will depend on the client’s particular circumstances, the urgency and seriousness of the issue, and the needs of other people using the service on the day. We do not assist on an ongoing basis. We can also refer clients to other support agencies, such as the social support worker provided by Waratah Support Centre.
Going to Court for a Family Violence Restraining Order Matter?
Check out these helpful videos developed by Legal Aid, SWCLC and the Bunbury Magistrates Court: