Do You Know What Your Rights Are In The Event Of Family Violence? If You’re In Australia, You Should Read This.
Family violence has become a growing concern in Australia, and plays a devastating role on each and every member of the family. The question and impact of family violence during divorce proceedings is equally important, since the Court must address it to ensure that the best interest of any children or other victims are seen to.
What is family violence
Family violence, as defined by section 4AB of the Family Law Act 1975 was further amended in 2011, and now includes the following circumstances:
- Assault, which includes sexual assault or other sexually abusive behaviour
- Making derogatory taunts repeatedly
- Intentionally injuring or causing death to an animal
- Unlawfully depriving any family member of their lawful liberty
- Acts of stalking
- Intentionally destroying or damaging property
The definition of abuse isn’t only limited to physical and emotional abuse, but also includes acts of financial and or social control coercion, for example unreasonably denying family member(s) access to financial autonomy they would have had, withholding financial support, or preventing them from keeping and maintaining connections with other family members.
How family violence impacts on a case
Any interested party in the parenting case must file a Notice, in accordance to the law, notifying the court of any case of family abuse where one of the parties to the proceeding has already committed an act of family violence, or there is a risk of family violence being perpetrated.
The court is then required to take quick and prompt action after the filing of the Notice, and will consider making the following interim or procedural notices: protect the child or any affected parties from the abuse, and gather evidence of said abuse as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If reasonable ground to believe the Notice of family abuse is established, the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility will not apply to the proceedings, and the court will make sure that any order they deliver will be in the best interest of the child.
It should be noted that the information given in this article does not constitute legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding family violence and what steps you can take, please do not hesitate to contact us today!
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