27 May Family Dispute Resolution – Family Violence in Parenting Matters
The Family Law Act requires parents to make a genuine attempt to resolve disputes regarding arrangements for their children through Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). However, in circumstances where there is a history of family violence or children are at risk of harm parents may be exempt from participating in FDR. If the dispute remains unresolved one of the parties may then commence proceedings.
When commencing proceedings for parenting orders all parties are required to file a Notice of Risk (NOR). A NOR alerts the Court of any potential risk of harm or abuse of children. The Court will act protectively and will give careful consideration to the contents of the NOR when determining what interim Orders should be made to protect children until a final Hearing occurs.
The Court is likely to make Orders to ascertain the accuracy and seriousness of the allegations by making Orders for:
- Evidence to be produced by Subpoena to the Police or Department of Family and Community Services and
- The appointment of an Independent Children’s Lawyer to advocate on behalf of the children.
- Drug and alcohol screening where appropriate
You should seek legal assistance if your relationship has recently broken down as a result of family violence or if you have any concerns about the welfare and safety of your children. One of our experienced family lawyers will be able to assist you.
Most importantly, if you have any concerns for the safety and welfare of yourself or your children, you should seek assistance from the Police.