Financial Hardship after Separation

Upon separation, your former partner may have taken some steps which limit your access to financial resources, like bank account access, housing, transportation or lines of credit. If you are in these circumstances, you may be struggling financially. You may also be a victim of family violence (financial control is a form of family violence).

To regain immediate access to your financial resources, you can make an urgent application in the Family Court of Western Australia. You do this by filing a Form 1 Initiating Application, and seeking urgent Interim and Final Orders. For more information on how to make this application, see our Procedure link above.

You will need to show that you require access to that financial resource in order to adequately support yourself and any children you may have. You will also need to show that this financial resource has been withheld from you.

If you need any assistance in drafting your application, or in appearing at the Family Court of Western Australia, contact the Court on 9224 8222 or seek legal advice.

You should also consider whether you are entitled to child support if you have care of a child.

Community Legal Services

You may require legal representation, however may not be able to afford it. There are a number of services available to the public to assist you in getting legal advice and representation.

  • Legal Aid is Western Australia’s public legal service. If you meet their specifications, they can provide you with a lawyer to assist in your family or criminal law matter. Legal Aid has offices in the Perth metropolitan area, as well as regional centres throughout Western Australia. Contact Legal Aid on 1300 650 579.
  • Law Access is a pro bono referral service managed by the Law Society of WA. They deal with public interest and non-public interest matters, across a wide range of practise areas. For further information, contact the Law Society on (08) 9324 8600 or visit
  • The Community Legal Centres Association can put you in touch with a local Community Legal Centre. Community Legal Centres can provide you with legal advice and, in certain circumstances, legal representation at Court as well. Contact the Community Legal Centres Association on (08) 9221 9322 or visit
  • The Sussex Street Community Law Service can provide short advice sessions for your family law matter. Contact the Sussex Street Community Law Service on (08) 6253 9500 or visit
  • For women, the Women’s Law Centre can assist in a range of family law matters, including property matters, children’s matters, divorce and family violence. Contact the Women’s Law Centre on 1800 625 122 or visit
  • For those in the Aboriginal community, you can contact the Aboriginal Family Law Service on 1800 469 246 or visit their website at
  • For those in the Northern Suburbs, you can contact the Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre on (08) 9301 4413 (Joondalup) or (08) 9440 1663 (Mirrabooka), or visit
  • For those in the South-Eastern Suburbs, you can contact the Gosnells Community Legal Centre. They can assist with family law, mediation and financial counselling. You can also utilise their services through the Armadale Community Legal Service. Contact (08) 9398 1455 or visit
  • For those in the Peel region, contact the SCALES Community Legal Clinic in Rockingham. SCALES is a community legal centre, run in association with Murdoch University. They can assist in a range of legal matters, including family law. Contact SCALES on (08) 9550 0400.

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