At Mary’s House, we are mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the resulting economic crisis, will place enormous strain on vulnerable families. There will be many people in the community who are worried about their safety and that of their children. For those people who have experienced family violence, being confined in close quarters could place them at risk of further incidents. Protecting members of the community remains an essential service and people should not hesitate to contact the Police, who will continue to respond to calls for help from victims of domestic violence.
Please see below link which provides information in respect of recent changes to law around Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders.
In short, we predict that the Police will now apply for more provisional ADVOs and there will be an extended period (possibly up to 6 months) before these matters will need to be heard in Court. The family law courts are still open and the Court is conducting most matters by phone.
There are also hotlines that provide advice for people with concerns about domestic violence, such as 1800 65 64 63 or 1800 RESPECT. A link to their website is below:
For those families that have parenting orders, please see this important link to a recent media releases issued by the Family Court.
There is an emphasis on parties being pragmatic about reaching temporary agreements regarding changes in arrangements that may need to be made.
The release also emphasises the importance of children maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, but in the absence of an agreement, we would suggest that parents seek legal advice before making a decision not to comply with a Court Order.
We extend our best wishes to you and your families with the hope that you remain healthy and safe.