Domestic Violence & Family Law

Overview of Domestic Violence

Woman in fear of domestic abuseDomestic violence is a serious issue with far reaching effects especially when children are involved. The problem extends to more than physical attacks as domestic violence also includes emotional and economic abuse to exert control or instil fear over a family member.

The Family Law Act defines family violence as:

“violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family (the family member), or causes the family member to be fearful.”

Situations where abuse is taking place require immediate attention. There are a number of specialist domestic violence services available that offer assistance to safely leave an abusive relationship. Everyone has the legal right to seek protection from a violent relationship in which the individual can:

  • Apply for a domestic violence order
  • Apply for temporary protection order
  • Press charges against the violent individual 

Behaviours that constitute emotional or psychological abuse include:

  • Making threats to cause physical harm
  • Stalking an individual out in public
  • Repeatedly contacting by phone, text or email
  • Threatening to disclose personal information
  • Damaging property or threatening to do so
  • Preventing contact with family members or friends
  • Threatening to cause self-harm
  • Forcing decisions against the individual’s will
  • Deliberately withholding economic funds 

The Domestic Violence Family Protection Act applies to:

  • Married relationships
  • De facto registered relationships
  • Engaged couples
  • Family relationships
  • Informal care relationships 

Family Violence Intervention Order

Children are also included on a domestic violence order to protect them from harm. The courts must consider including the children to the order if it is deemed necessary. This includes children from the relationship in addition to other children that spend time at your home on a regular basis.

Domestic violence orders limit the behaviour of the individual in question and make it illegal to breach. The order can be applied at a magistrates court or done through a lawyer who can apply for you. The affected individual will receive a copy of the order and must comply with the conditions. The person being violent will face heavy fines or even go to jail if the conditions of the order are broken.

Seeking legal advice is strongly recommended to assist with applying for a domestic violence order.

How We Can Help

Violence in family households can have devastating consequences particularly if there are children in the relationship. Addressing these issues immediately is prudent to prevent further escalation and to keep yourself protected from harm.

Kawalsky Lawyers is an experienced law firm that deals with all aspects of family law. Our family lawyers give you comprehensive advice regarding your legal rights and obligations. In addition to providing legal counsel for issues related to domestic violence, we can also assist with:

  • Divorce
  • Parenting Plans
  • Financial matters
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child support
  • Intervention orders 

For legal disputes that cannot be resolved, we provide strong representation in the court that protect your interests. Contact us today to speak to one of our family lawyers to discuss your situation in more detail.

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