Relevance of Domestic Violence to Family Law Proceedings


Domestic violence is unfortunately common in Australia and is often a consideration in family law matters, particularly in parenting matters. When domestic violence has been committed by a parent, the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility does not apply. In these situations, an order for sole parental responsibility may be made in favour of the parent who was the victim of domestic violence. A finding that domestic violence has occurred can also affect the time the children spend with the offending parent and whether such time should be supervised.

Domestic violence can also be relevant where there are proceedings before the court in relation to dividing property. A party who has suffered domestic violence during the relationship can argue that the contributions they made to the relationship should be considered more significant given the onerous conditions they were made under – the effect of that being that the court should exercise its discretion to increase the percentage of property they receive upon division.

The outcome of criminal law proceedings, particularly in relation to domestic violence, provides strong evidence for the purposes of family law proceedings as to whether domestic violence occurred. In criminal law proceedings, the magistrate must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt to find the accused guilty of an alleged assault. Where that finding is made, it is difficult for a Judge of a Family Law Court to ignore a conviction.

In light of the above, it is evident that the outcome of criminal proceedings can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of family law proceedings, particularly in parenting cases. At Armstrong Legal, our criminal law team and family law team work together to ensure that you receive advice that is tailored to ensure your criminal law proceedings and family law matters are dealt with in a timely and cost-effective manner.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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