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 Support and assistance

The following organisations may be able to assist in relation to international family law matters.

Or scroll to the bottom of the page for information about finding a lawyer in Australia.

International Social Service (ISS) Australia

International Social Service Australia provides a range of services to those affected by international child abduction, including:

  • free legal assistance with preparation of applications for return of a child or access to a child under the Hague Convention
  • mediation and negotiation with parents in other countries, and
  • counselling and support services.

Call: 1300 657 843

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Consular Office

If your child is in another country, you may want to seek private legal advice in that country about your options.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) can provide limited consular assistance to parents whose children are located overseas. Depending on the legal and social services framework of the foreign jurisdiction, this may include providing a list of local lawyers, and facilitating liaison with local authorities and child welfare agencies to ensure the welfare of the child involved.

Contact details for Australian missions overseas are available on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

The 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra can also be contacted for assistance from anywhere in the world on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 (local call cost within Australia).

Family Relationships Advice Line

The Family Relationships Advice Line is a national telephone service established to support families affected by relationship or separation issues. The Family Relationships Advice Line is available between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm Saturday (local time), except national public holidays.

Call: 1800 050 321 or +61 7 3423 6878 from outside Australia

Family Relationships Online

Family Relationships Online also provides information about families and separation, and lists other services to help parents manage relationship issues, including agreeing on appropriate parenting arrangements for children.

Attorney-General’s Department legal financial assistance

Our department helps parents or guardians whose children are being retained in another country, by another person, without their consent. Applications can be made to the department for grants to cover overseas legal and other costs for the return of children to Australia. More information is available on the Overseas Child Abduction Scheme page.

Call: 02 6141 4770
Email: finass@ag.gov.au

Finding a lawyer in Australia

If you need legal advice from an Australian lawyer, the following websites may assist you to locate a lawyer, community legal centre, or legal aid commission in Australia:

The Family Relationships Advice Line may also be able to refer you to a suitable service, and can be contacted on 1800 050 321 or +61 7 3423 6878 from outside Australia.