The Australian Government through the Attorney-General’s Department funds Family Law Pathways Networks across Australia. Their aim is to support, at a local level, the development of a co-ordinated family law system that assists separated and separating families to promptly and seamlessly access legal and human services.Family Law Pathways Networks involve local, cross-sector and multi-disciplinary legal and human service professionals operating in the family law system, within a specified geographic area.
The Top End network covers Greater Darwin, Jabiru and Katherine and operates under the auspice of the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission. The auspice agency provides an administrative role and employs a co-ordinator. Each Network has an independent steering committee drawn from the local membership that develops an Annual Work Plan for the Network.Membership of Networks typically includes (but is not limited to):
- Family and Federal Circuit Courts
- Legal Aid Commissions
- Community Legal Centres
- Family Violence Prevention Legal Services
- Family Relationship Services
- Family law lawyers
- Child Support Agency, and
The Networks contribute to the family law system by:
- assisting with maintaining appropriate referral mechanisms between locally based organisations operating as part of or alongside the family law system
- developing and maintaining a shared understanding of the roles of Network members and key organisations operating as part of or alongside the family law system, and
- developing and maintaining awareness of products, services and training available to Network members. Each Network meets regularly and encourages new members!