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Relevance of Domestic Violence to Family Law Proceedings

Domestic violence is unfortunately common in relationships and therefore family law matters, particularly in parenting matters.

The presence of domestic violence committed by a parent rebuts the presumption of equal-shared parental responsibility and might result in an order for sole parental responsibility. A finding of domestic violence could 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 onerous given the violence they have been exposed to – the effect of that being that the court should exercise its discretion to increase the percentage of property the party receives upon division.

The outcome of criminal law proceedings, particularly in relation to domestic violence, provides strong evidence as to whether domestic violence occurred during a relationship. 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 the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA) 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.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

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