How Does The Family Court Deal With Domestic Violence?

Whether you are charged with domestic violence or are wondering if a domestic violence relationship will have any effect on your Family Court case, you need to understand how these matters are dealt with in the courts. While it depends on the circumstances of the case, there are several ways that domestic violence proceedings can effect parenting and, even property, cases. Consulting with a domestic violence solicitor should be a priority, but here are some quick tips.

How does it deal withan allegation of domestic violence?
When a person makes an allegation about domestic violence in the Family Court, the court will not just accept the allegation but will exercise caution when considering the case. The court will take into account all surrounding factors to make an interim determination if this allegation places a child at risk and then will make a final decision at a later date. If there is any independent evidence, such as witnesses or physical evidence, then the court is more likely to accept the allegation. If there has been any previous allegations of domestic violence or any allegations in other proceedings, this will also hold more weight.

How does it deal with...an application for a domestic violence order?
Similar to allegations of domestic violence, if a domestic violence order has not yet proceeded to trial and had a determination made, the court will exercise some caution in relying on it. Although, if there are allegations of severe domestic violence and a temporary order has been approved by the court then the court is more likely accept it. If a temporary order has been made through the respondent consenting without admission, this does not mean that the allegations were proven in court so the Family Court will not just accept those allegations with taking further consideration.

How does it deal with...a final domestic violence order?
This depends on how the final order was made and what is contained in the order. If the final order was made by the respondent consenting without admission, then that is not independent evidence that domestic violence occurred although it is taken into account. If the final order was made after a trial, this means that a finding of fact was made that there was an act of domestic violence and that the aggrieved needs to be protected. This can be used and relied on in Family Court and will be given significant weight in the proceedings.

How does it deal with...a conviction of domestic violence?
If a person has been convicted of a domestic violence offence or a breach of domestic violence, this will be taken very seriously in the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court. The way this effects proceedings will depend on the circumstances of the allegation. If it was a charge from 10 years ago and relates to a verbal disagreement, it will be treated differently to a recent allegation that involves serious violence. Regardless, a conviction can be used as evidence in court and will definitely effect any decisions made by the Judge.

Does domestic violence effect parenting and property proceedings?
Domestic violence can seriously impact parenting proceedings. If the court determines that this places a chlid at risk, then it will impose serious conditions like limiting contact, supervised contact or even no contact at all. In property proceedings, domestic violence can have some effect on the outcome but it is not a common occurance and you should consult with a family lawyer about whether this is a relevant factor in your case.

We have many years experience in domestic violence matters for both applications and breaches of domestic violence orders. With our background in criminal law, our domestic violence solicitors are experienced in court advocacy and have negotiated and appeared in court on thousands of DVOs and contraventions of DVO. To get the best result, you need to have the best domestic violence lawyer who understands how this area of law operates.

Contact us for more information or to book a free legal advice session to find out your options.

This information does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to obtain independent legal advice relevant to your situation.

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