Family Relationship Advice Line

Family Relationship Advice Line logo

1800 050 321

  • Strengthening family relationships
  • Helping families stay together
  • Assisting families through separation

Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm local time
Saturday 10am to 4pm local time
Closed Sundays and national public holidays

What is the Family Relationship Advice Line?

The Family Relationship Advice Line is a national telephone service that helps families affected by relationship or separation issues, including information on parenting arrangements after separation. It can also refer callers to local services that provide assistance.

Who can call the Advice Line?

Anyone can call the Advice Line about family relationships.

This includes parents, grandparents, children, young people, other family members or friends.

Other people who may be offering advice or support to families can also ring the Advice Line to get information.

What can I expect when I call?

When you call the Family Relationship Advice Line you will be able to talk to someone who can help you work out what information, support and services you need.

This may include:

  • information about services to help maintain healthy relationships
  • advice on family separation issues
  • information about the family law system
  • guidance on developing workable parenting arrangements after family separation
  • advice about the impact of conflict on children
  • telephone-based Family Dispute Resolution for people who need assistance resolving disputes over parenting arrangements
  • referral to Family Relationship Centres and other dispute resolution services, and
  • referral to a range of other services to help with family relationship and separation issues.

Referral to other services

During a time of family breakdown, many people are faced with a complex mix of emotional and practical matters.

The Family Relationship Advice Line will help you sort through these issues and refer you to other services that can help. This might include services from Centrelink, the Child Support Agency, or a legal service. It might also include services that can assist with counselling and support for you or the children, or help with accommodation, mental health issues or drug and alcohol abuse problems.

The Family Relationship Advice Line can also provide assistance and referrals for families dealing with violence or child abuse issues.

Do I have to give my name?

You don’t have to give your full name when you call.  However, you will be asked for some general information, plus a few details to help identify you if you call again. This means that you will not have to repeat the same information each time you ring.

If you prefer, you may elect not to provide any identifying information.

Calls to the advice line are confidential

If you contact the Family Relationship Advice Line, you are able to receive help anonymously. However, when you call, you will be asked for a few details to help identify you if you call again.

This information is treated confidentially. Your family or friends will not be told that you have telephoned the advice line. Alternatively, you may choose not to provide any identifying information and be treated as a new caller next time you call.

How to call using the National Relay Service

Callers who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can call through the National Relay Service:

  • textphone or modem users: phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 050 321
  • voice-only (speak and listen) users: phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 050 321
  • computer or mobile phone users with a connection to the internet: go to http://www.relayservice.com.au and select 'Make an internet relay call now' then ask for 1800 050 321. That web site also details how to use instant messaging through MSN or AOL to make a call.

How to call from overseas

To call the Family Relationship Advice Line from overseas, phone +61 7 3423 6878. The phone company you are using to make the call will charge you for the cost of the call.

Case Study 1

Susan has just told her husband Michael that she no longer thinks their marriage is working, and says she wants a divorce. They have two children, Tyler aged 9 and Clara aged 12.

Michael doesn’t know what to do, so he googles ‘divorce’ and sees a link to the Family Relationship Advice Line. He calls 1800 050 321, and speaks to a Family Relationship Advisor, who tells him about the separation process, parenting after separation, and services such as counselling and Family Dispute Resolution he can use. The Family Relationship Advice Line gives Michael the contact details for his local Family Relationship Centre.

Case Study 2

Adisa and her family came to Australia as refugees. The war they lived through has left a mark on the whole family. Her husband has frequent nightmares. He is tired and irritable in the days after the nightmares. Adisa is worried about her children, who say they feel different to the other kids at school.

Adisa feels her family is falling apart and doesn’t know what to do. She doesn’t want to talk to her friends about it, as the community might find out that she and her husband are having troubles, and her husband might get upset.

She phones the Family Relationship Advice Line and finds out that she can get help over the phone without providing her full name. She is referred to a counsellor, who explains that they will not contact Adisa’s husband or tell her community leader about the support she receives.

Related links

Family mediation and dispute resolution

Family Relationship Centres

Find Local Help

Next steps

Call the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321.