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Family Violence and Protection Orders

The Family Law Act and the Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act provide a number of different ways for the Courts to address and respond to family violence and to keep people safe.  

Examples of abusive behaviour may include:  

  • Any kind of assault, both physical and/or sexual; 

  • Emotional or psychological abuse, including stalking, repeated derogatory taunts, repeated text messaging; 

  • Threatening behaviour; 

  • Intentionally damaging or destroying property or harming an animal; 

  • Financial abuse and coercive behaviour; 

  • Isolating the family member from family, friends or culture; 

Protecting a child from harm including from family violence is a primary consideration for the Court when assessing what is in the best interests of a child. 

The Magistrates Court in Queensland deals can issue a Protection Order that sets out conditions that must be followed by the person who has committed the violence.  This can include restrictions on contact, not attending at your home or workplace and other conditions designed to keep a person protected from family violence.   

Protection Orders 

Protection orders can have implications for parenting arrangements. It is important for parents to receive family law advice about the impact of the orders and most importantly, ensuring that children are protected from harm and exposure to family violence. 

Family Dispute Resolution 

Where there is a dispute regarding the care of children, parties are required to attend family dispute resolution with a qualified practitioner, before applying to the Court for specific orders. The practitioner will then issue a certificate stating that a genuine attempt to reach an agreement regarding the care arrangements for children has been made. The certificate must be produced to the court before an application for parenting orders can be made. 

In some circumstances the family dispute resolution practitioner may issue a certificate confirming that the matter is not suitable for dispute resolution. The Family Law Act sets out exceptions about when dispute resolution is not required - including in cases of urgency and where there is family violence. 

It is recommended that parties obtain legal advice before attending dispute resolution to guide their negotiations so that they understand what might be the likely result if they went to court. This is crucial in understanding the range of options and outcomes that might be in the best interests of the children


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