Family violence is a serious social issue that affects everyone in a family - children, parents and other members of the extended family.The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court take family violence very seriously.
The following are guiding principles for the court when hearing family violence cases:
- Safety is a right.
- Safety is a priority for all who attend court hearing and court employees.
- Children are very much aware of violence even if they don’t directly witness it.
- Courts have particular concern about the immediate and possible long term adverse effects of family violence on children.
- Family violence can occur before, during or after separation.
- Family violence may affect the ability of persons to make family law related decisions and to participate in court events.
The following are important points to remember:
- Contact the police immediately if you have fears for your safety or that of your children.
- Inform the police if guns or weapons are involved.
- Police officers can get a family violence order for you and will respond or deal with breaches of that order.
- Inform the court if there is family violence so that the court will take that into consideration in issuing orders. If notified, the court will make sure that a party or child is not exposed to further violence.
- Inform the court if you have fears of attending hearings or appointments. Safe rooms and separate entry and exit points can be arranged. To make these arrangements call either the Courts on 1300 352 000 or the person directly managing your case.
- If you are not represented by counsel, a support person can accompany you to the hearings.
This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a Family Lawyer when contemplating a separation or soon after a relationship comes to an end.
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