Domestic violence can take many forms including physical, psychological and emotional abuse. Domestic violence is an extremely important consideration in family law parenting proceedings, particularly in relation to abuse against a child. In all parenting matters in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, you are required to file a Notice of Risk with your application, which is a form you need to complete with details of whether:
- a child has been abused;
- a child is at risk of being abused;
- there has been family violence;
- there is a risk of family violence; or
- any allegations have been reported to any external authorities.
Family violence is also relevant in property proceedings as, if allegations are supported by evidence and accepted by the Court, the Court may consider it appropriate to award who was subject to the abuse an adjustment in their favour for the abuse they have endured.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, there are options available including, primarily, contacting the police for assistance. If your complaint is accepted by the police, they may charge the person from whom you are suffering the abuse and they will likely make an application on your behalf for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) from the Court against that person.
If, for whatever reason, the police do not pursue the matter after you have made the complaint, you are able to file your own application for an ADVO. However, before doing so, it is prudent for you to obtain proper legal advice as your application must have appropriate grounds for the order sought and supporting evidence and, if it is found that your application does not, you might be ordered to pay the costs of the other party.