In 2012 amendments were made to the Family Law Act, the law dealing with parenting and property matters, which significantly expanded the definition of “family violence”, also known as domestic violence. The new definition recognises the many forms of violence and control which can occur in intimate and family relationships.
Family violence can include conduct, whether actual or threatened, towards:
- Another person; or
- A person’s family member; or
- A person’s property.
which causes a person to fear or be apprehensive about their personal wellbeing or safety.
Actions which may be considered family violence include:
- Physical assaults or violence
- Sexual violence
- Repeated derogatory taunts
- Intentionally damaging or destroying property
- Intentionally causing death or injury to an animal
- Unreasonably denying financial autonomy or support
- Preventing a person from maintaining family connections
- Depriving a person of their liberty, such as restricting their movement.
The court is very concerned to minimise the exposure of children to family violence. The court considers a child has been exposed to family violence if they themselves have experienced or heard or witnessed the above actions towards a member of their family.
The effects of family violence are given recognition in proceedings for parenting matters, property division and maintenance. Indeed, the court must be informed of any family violence proceedings or family violence orders, such as an AVO or ADVO. Further, if you already have parenting orders, an AVO or ADVO may take priority over the parenting orders.
At Taylor & Scott we can provide you with advice on obtaining an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order for your protection (and for your children’s protection). We can advise you on the way that ADVOs can interact with parenting arrangements.
If an AVO has been taking out against you, we can also advise you on how you can apply for parenting orders through the Family Court system, rather than the Local Court system if you are having difficulty seeing your children.
No matter what situation you are in, we are able to offer assistance and advice about how family violence impacts on all aspects of family law proceedings.
If you or someone you know needs expert advice from our specialist team of family lawyers, phone us on 1800 600 664 or complete the contact form on this page.
At Taylor & Scott “We Care For You”.