Allegations of family violence in a child custody battle

How might family or domestic violence allegations affect you seeing your children?

Your former partner has falsely accused you of abusing them in the presence of your children. Maybe you have been falsely accused of abusing your children. Will it impact your parental right to see and spend time with your children? What can you do?

Dealing with family violence accusations

 

It can be a distressing time discussing parenting arrangements (previously known as child custody) with your former partner. Add a false accusation of abusive behaviour, and your stress levels could go through the roof. It is important to take these sorts of accusations seriously. They may impact the orders that a court will be willing to make around the time that your children have with you, at least on an interim basis. However, the fact of accusations being made doesn’t mean you lose any chance of seeing your children.

In the early stages of a court proceeding, orders may be made for the time that children spend with each parent on an interim basis.  Those Orders ordinarily outline the role of each parent, and often set out who will have the primary care of your children until further orders are made. Although it is only the first order, these orders may be in place for up to a year or more depending on how your matter progresses and how busy the court lists are.

How might a false accusation of family violence impact your rights at this early stage?

The court has two primary considerations when it comes to parenting arrangements for a child. The first is to facilitate a meaningful relationship between the child and both of their parents. The second is to protect the child from being subjected or exposed to abuse, neglect, or family violence. However, the court must give greater weight to the second consideration – protecting the child from abuse, neglect, or Family violence. If there are allegations of abuse, neglect, or family violence, the court must look at making provisions to protect the child. This could mean that one parent receives primary care of the child/children, whilst the other parent may have restricted or only supervised time with children, at least until the Court is able to test the evidence concerning the allegations of violence.

During an interim hearing, evidence cannot generally be tested and instead, is weighed up on the probability of the claim.

However, the court is entitled to heed allegations which the court regards as significant and to consider the allegations in the context of an interim hearing.

Our experienced legal team can help you through this process, to ensure your evidence is presented in a way which will assist your case.