Families are complex. So too are the issues surrounding separation. For many families, separation is a time where family violence may impact on the lives of the separating couple and their children. One or both parents may seek the protection of an Intervention Order (IVO or AVO).
The impact of a IVO should not be taken lightly by you and you will need expert advice to understand how family violence interacts with many facets of your separation including parenting and property matters. At Caroline Counsel Family lawyers we can explain how the IVO may impact on the other aspects of your separation such as when you can see your children, if at all or in what circumstances. We can advise on whether you are allowed to return to the home or not and if not why you should refrain from doing so.
If you are a the Respondent to an Application for an Intervention Order (abbreviated to either IVO or AVO) and there has been orders made against you by the Court – even if they are interim and even if you have not yet even been to Court to defend yourself, it is important that you understand your obligations under those orders and that you comply with them. Orders may vary from case to case so you cannot rely on what another’s person’s experience has been. Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers can review your IVO documents and give you advice about what you can and cannot do pursuant to the orders.
If there is a dispute regarding the parenting arrangements, then the Court must, as a primary consideration, the need to protect a child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence. This consideration is elevated above the child’s right to a meaningful relationship with both of their parents.
The Court also considers as additional considerations regarding family violence when deciding parenting matters:
- Any family violence involving the child or a member of the child’s family; and
- If a family violence orders applies, or has applied, to the children or a member of the child’s family, any relevant inferences can be drawn from the order, taking into account the following:
- The nature of the order;
- The circumstances in which the order was made;
- Any evidence admitted in the proceedings for the order;
- Any findings made by the Court in, or in proceedings for, the order; and
- Any other relevant matter.
Evidence in the Intervention Order matter may be used against you by the other parent in Family Court parenting matters to support their case. They may seek, for example, an order that you do not see the children at all on an interim basis, or if you do spend time with them, then your time be supervised.
It is important that you obtain legal advice and engage with your lawyer early in the separation given the interactions between parenting and family violence matters which can have a significant impact both in the short term and later on.
At Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers, we provide advice on family violence, parenting and financial matters and most importantly how they are interrelated. This advice may be vitally important to you and it is better for you to know what your rights and restrictions are before acting.
The information in this blog does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by you. If you require advice specific to your situation you must contact Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers for legal advice. The contents of this blog are relevant as at 3 February 2020. We recommend you obtain specific advice relevant to you and your family’s situation.
Jane Bentley is a Senior Associate at Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers.