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Speaking with the Judge



Family and domestic violence continues to be prevalent in Australia, with 1 in 3 women having been a victim at some point. It can happen to anyone, women or men from all walks of life. It comes in many forms and involves physical, emotional, psychological, financial and sexual behaviour being used to control, dominate or instil fear.

In our constantly evolving modern age it can also involve technological abuse with unreasonable monitoring and tracking of a partner’s movements and interactions. Witnessing family violence can also have a debilitating effect on children’s development.

Protection from family violence can be sought in various ways, at both State and Federal levels, and at Universal Lawyers we have the expert knowledge and extensive hands-on experience to assist you to find the most appropriate solution for your own situation. As experts in in both Family and Criminal Law we are perfectly placed to access a broad range of options for you.


A local court can make an apprehended domestic violence order to provide legal protection from many forms of violence. The order a magistrate makes will vary according to your circumstances, but will always include three prohibitions: 

  • Assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening or interfering with the protected person;

  • Intimidating the protected person; and

  • Stalking the protected person (this may include your children).

The magistrate can also include other prohibitions:

  • Approaching the Protected Person

  • Approaching or entering places where the Protected Person may live, work or go to;

  • Approaching the Protected Person, or places where the Protected Person may be, after drinking alcohol or taking illegal drugs;

  • Damaging property; and/or

  • Any other conditions as agreed by both parties or decided by the Court. 


The presumption of equal shared parental responsibility in the Family Law Act (1975) (not to be confused with the amount of time a child spends with each parent) does not apply where there are reasonable grounds to believe a parent has engaged in child abuse or family violence.

The requirement to engage in what are called pre-action procedures, including a Family Dispute Resolution Conference, can also be waived where there are allegations of child abuse or family violence. The Family Law Act definition of family violence now includes acts of control and coercion which may not involve acts or threats of physical violence.

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