One of the primary considerations when determining what is in a child’s best interests is “the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence”: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (‘FLA’) s 60CC. This consideration is given greater weight than the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
The Family Law Act 1975 states that the best interests of the children are served by a meaningful relationship with both parents in a safe environment. Where there are allegations of abuse or harm, it needs to be considered how best to facilitate time with mum and dad in a safe manner. Accordingly, supervised contact may be an appropriate solution.
With the update of the Family Violence Plan in April 2019, the Courts have continued to recognise the importance of protecting those experiencing family violence, and the detrimental impact on the health and wellbeing of separating partners and children in situations of family violence.
Domestic Violence is unfortunately common. Today 1 in 3 women have been or are in an abusive relationship. As Domestic Violence Prevention Month, this May, begins we look at 5 different ways to help us understand how we can respond and support those who we know are experiencing domestic violence.
We all would like to live in a world where there is no fighting or violence, but the truth is that in Australia currently, at least one woman dies from domestic violence a week. Often domestic violence is kept secret within the walls of the home, with family and friends unaware. We must be more educated and socially aware to offer support and help people suffering this danger. Victims should not feel ashamed and know that there is support available to help them change their circumstances.