Caroline Cavanagh (back) and Allana Janke are both solicitors at The Advocacy and Support Centre which is a family law clinic offering free advice.
Caroline Cavanagh (back) and Allana Janke are both solicitors at The Advocacy and Support Centre which is a family law clinic offering free advice. Sarah Harvey

Lawyers lend a hand

A HUGE spike in demand for family law advice has seen the launch of a free family law service at an Ipswich firm.

Lawyers from local firms will give their time for free to consult people who need help with separation and divorce, child custody, consent orders and child support.

The service will run every second Wednesday from 5.30-7.30pm at The Advocacy and Support Centre on South St, opposite the Ipswich Courthouse.

TASC family lawyer Allana Janke said there was an ever-growing demand for people needing family law advice.

"It is not unusual for appointments to be backed up for a month at a time," Ms Janke said.

"Opening at night will make more appointments available and people can discuss their family law matters.

"It's about helping people to find out if something can be done for them and what their rights are before they get to court."

Ms Janke said the service would help clarify where people stood when it came to family law and what their rights were.

She said it was also a great opportunity to get local solicitors involved in the clinic.

TASC solicitor Caroline Cavanagh said the new service would address a significant need in the Ipswich community.

"We currently provide a modest family law service, however the demand outweighs staff capacity and the waiting period to see a solicitor can be lengthy," Ms Cavanagh said.

For people with work commitments during the day the opportunity to see a solicitor can be difficult to access.

"Local residents will benefit from the opportunity to discuss family law with highly experienced professionals - who will be volunteering their time pro bono.

"The service wouldn't be possible without the commitment of local firms Walker Pender, Dale and Fallu, MA Kent and Associates and New Way Lawyers."

Ms Cavanagh welcomed experienced family lawyers who would like to volunteer at the clinic to contact TASC.

TASC will continue to operate its legal service from 9am-4.30pm Monday to Friday.

The next evening will be held on Wednesday, April 18.

Appointments are essential and can be made by phoning 3812 7000.



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