Domestic Violence 

1. What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is when your partner or your previous partner uses some form of violence towards you or your family. When Domestic Violence arises in a family situation, it is still capable of being dealt with pursuant to State and Territory Laws.

2. What Can The Police Do?

The Police may intervene if the violence is reported and lay charges. In some circumstances, the police may also seek an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) against the perpetrator to protect the victim. Both an AVO and an ADVO are usually obtained from the Local Court to prevent the abusive person from coming near or harming the victim.  An AVO or ADVO provides a victim of violence with some peace of mind. This is a free service. However, it requires that you report the violence immediately when it happens and your co-operation with the police.

3. Need Free Immediate Assistance?

If you are a victim of Domestic Violence and need help immediately, you can telephone the Domestic Violence Help Line on 1800 656 463 (toll free).  They may assist you in finding a place to stay to escape the violence at your home.

If you have children and are in the same position, you may opt to call the DoCS Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463.

4. How Is Violence Treated in Family Law?

The recent amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 include protection to family member, children and even the property of the parties. The Family Law Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia both take a very hard line when there is evidence before it that there has been violence in the family. This is particularly the case if the violence has also been against a child. The Courts usually consider all of the material before it when it is considering the best interests of a child. Family violence is severely frowned upon. Family violence includes:

  • Actions or threats against a family member or a child and their property; and/or
  • Witnessing actions or threats by a person against another family member or their property.

5. Do I Have to Attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) If There Is Violence?

In cases of violence or abuse to another party, a child or children of a marriage (or de facto relationship), equal shared parental responsibility is rebutted. This means that the court does not have to consider it when making a decision about where children should live.

Further, one of the exceptions to the compulsory FDR process known as a FDR Session, applies to cases where there is or has been violence towards a party or the children or if any child abuse has occurred. In those circumstances, separating parents are not required to attend FDR Sessions before approaching the Court on parenting matters, and may make an application to the Court without the requires certificate from the FDR Officer.

6. What Do The Courts Take Into Account?

In the event that there is any form of violence in a Family Law Matter, the Family Law Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia must act in these cases without delay, taking into account all relevant circumstances and evidence and make appropriate orders. Some of the orders the Courts may make orders that will include the protection of a child or a family member.

The Family Law Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia both have the power to punish parties for making false statements regarding family violence. The Courts may also request that relevant State and Territory agencies concerning allegations of family violence or abuse be informed and request that they intervene or investigate a matter.

7. How Can Antwan Lawyers help?

If you are a victim of Family Violence or Abuse or you know of someone who may be a victim, please call Antwan Lawyers urgently for a confidential discussion. At Antwan Lawyers, we pride ourselves in assisting victims of violence or abuse obtain the right protection afforded to all Australians by Law and brings stability to their lives. Antwan Lawyers will assist you to bring an urgent application before the relevant Court for urgent appropriate orders.