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Family Violence Restraining Order Lawyers in Perth
What is a Family Violence Restraining Order or “FVRO”?
An FVRO may be sought against a person with whom you are or were previously in a family relationship. Family relationship includes a person who you are or were in a relationship and their relatives. You cannot apply for a Violence Restraining Order against a person you are or were in a family relationship with.
What sort of conduct amounts to “Family Violence”?
The law recognises that family violence takes both physical and non-physical forms. Family violence is defined to include physical assaults, sexual violence and certain non-physical abusive behaviours. Categories of non-physical violence include, but are not limited to:
• coercive or controlling behaviour,
• stalking and cyber-staking,
• unprovoked and persistent derogatory language toward a family member,
• coercing or threatening physical abuse,
• emotional and psychological abuse,
• unreasonably denying a family member of financial autonomy, which they would otherwise have had,
• unreasonably withholding financial support in circumstances where the family member or their children are dependent upon the person for financial support,
• destroying a family member’s property,
• harming family pets,
• kidnapping or depriving the liberty of a family member,
• distributing or threatening to distribute intimate images of a family member, without their consent,
• seeking to isolate a family member from their friends, family or culture, and
• causing a child to be exposed to any kind of family violence. A child could be exposed to family violence either by physical or non-physical family violence of the kind referred to above, or by witnessing family violence by overhearing threats, witnessing an assault, comforting a relative after an assault, cleaning up property damage following an assault or being present when Police or Ambulance officers attended.
What kind of conditions does an FVRO include?
Usually an FVRO will include restrictions of the kind outlined below:
• Entering or approaching your home, place of work or education,
• Communicating with you by any means,
• Approaching within a certain distance of you, 20 meters is typical,
• Approaching within a certain distance of your car or other property,
• Monitoring your movement or communication,
• Behaving an intimidating, offensive or emotionally abusive manner toward you,
• Causing or encouraging any other person to act in the above manner on their behalf.
The Order will normally contain exceptions which permit the Person Bound by the order to communicate with you through a legal practitioner, to have legal documents served on you by a process server, to attend court proceedings in which you are both involved and to attend family court mediations or alternative dispute resolution. If you have children aged under 18 with the Person Bound, the order will permit the Person Protected to communicate with you via text message or email solely to make arrangements to spend time with or communicate with the children.
If the court is satisfied that the Person Bound has exposed the children to family violence and is likely to continue to do so unless restrained by an order protecting the children, the children may also be included on the order as persons protected. This will mean that so long as the order is in effect, the Person Bound will be prohibited from having any contact whatsoever with the children.
An applicant should give careful consideration to the consequences of including the children on an Order, including the impact that it is likely to have upon the children and their relationship with the parent bound by the order. Sometimes, the inclusion of the children on an order will lead to the process of a separation being more acrimonious and litigious than may have otherwise been the case. The Family Court recognises that in most cases it is in the best interests of children that both parents are actively involved in their lives and maintain a close relationship with the children. In circumstances where the person poses a significant and ongoing risk to the children's mental or physical wellbeing, the Court is more likely to include the children as a protected person on a Restraining Order.
Contact Andrews Legal
Our defence lawyers are highly experienced and specialise exclusively in criminal law. If you have been charged with breaching a VRO, FVRO or MRO, arrange for an initial consultation with one of our defence lawyers in Perth by contacting us at Andrews Legal today on (08) 9221 2991.
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