Intervention Orders and Parenting Proceedings
Various types of intervention orders, and domestic violence orders, can be made in the Magistrates Courts of the states and territories under various state and territory-based legislation. The main issues the court determines in making an order of this kind are whether there has been family violence and whether it is likely to occur again.
The Family Law Act 1975 provides that when dealing with parenting matters, the courts must be informed of any family violence order that has been made in relation to a party in the proceedings or a child of the proceedings. In addition, the court must ensure any order it makes is consistent with any family violence order that is in force and does not expose a person to an unacceptable risk of family violence.
It is important to remember, however, that in parenting matters the best interests of the child remain the paramount consideration for the court. Therefore if the court, upon following legislation, considers that the best interests of the child require the court to make a parenting order that the child spends time with a parent, such order is enforceable despite the existence of a family violence order naming the child.
Where a Family Law Court has made a parenting order, it is possible to apply to the Magistrates Court under section 68R of the Act to vary, discharge or suspend the parenting order to the extent to which it provides for a child to spend time with a person, but only where the court also makes or varies a family violence order, and has material before it that was not before the Family Law Court making the initial parenting order.
A family violence order also provides evidence of family violence in the relationship and can contribute to the argument that a child is at an unacceptable risk of harm in the offending parent’s unsupervised care. Most importantly, however, it provides interim and/or final protection to those who have suffered family violence and in many cases, is the first step towards a safer future for the affected parties.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.