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Domestic Violence and Divorce: How Lawyers Can Safeguard Your Rights

by | Apr 12, 2024 | Family Law

Divorce is already a confronting and challenging process, however, if you have been subjected to or fear a risk of domestic violence it is essential that you prioritise your safety and ensure your rights are protected.

Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, verbal, and financial abuse. If you are considering divorce or separation, lawyers can help provide you with advice and assistance to advise you what you are entitled to and to safeguard your rights, ensuring that you are able to leave the relationship with the peace of mind that you and any children you have will be protected, both physically and financially.

Here are some ways in which our intervention order lawyers here in Melbourne are able to safeguard your rights when dealing with domestic violence and divorce:

1. Providing a safe and supportive environment

We are highly experienced with family law matters involving domestic violence and we understand the sensitive nature of these matters and the concerns that you may have in proceeding with a divorce. It is our role to listen to your concerns, provide you with legal guidance and understanding throughout the divorce, and to make you are aware of your rights and entitlements to ensure that you feel in control throughout the process.

2. Obtaining protection orders

Where you are experiencing domestic violence, we can assist you to obtain court orders to protect you, whether or not you are seeking an application for divorce. These protection orders are known as family violence intervention orders (FVIOs). FVIOs can be used to protect you, your children and your property from a family member, partner or ex-partner. Conditions imposed by an FVIO can include requiring the perpetrator to:

  • stop the specified behaviour;
  • not contact or communicate with you or your children;
  • not come near stay within a certain distance or your or your children;
  • and any other measures that may be considered necessary to protect you, your children or your property.

3. Advocating for your property and parenting rights

We are able to assist you with assessing and identifying the realities of your situation, providing you with advice as to your parenting and financial rights, and help you to consider options that you may not have previously considered or thought possible to assist you in moving forward with your divorce and your life.

We will advocate for custody of your children and suitable and safe visitation arrangements, if any, to ensure their physical and emotional safety, and will consider any further safety measures that can be implemented to minimise the risk of harm to your or your children.

If you are concerned about your finances and/or have been subjected to financial abuse, there are a number of rights and financial protections available to you that we will assist you in exercising. This can include securing temporary spousal maintenance (i.e. a temporary fortnightly allowance ordered by the Court to be paid by your ex-partner) and orders to prevent the sale or disposal of marital assets. These orders will be temporary whilst we assist you with establishing and dividing the marital pool of assets to ensure you are entitled to your fair share.

4. Further legal remedies and support services

Beyond our role in supporting you through this difficult time by assisting you with the divorce process, or orders for parenting and property matters, ensuring your safety and comfort when dealing with domestic violence, we are also able to connect you with a network of support services, including domestic violence shelters, counselling resources and advocacy organisations. They may also be able to assist you in obtaining further legal remedies, such as compensation and financial assistance from Victims of Crime. Our office is further able to assist you if you have any migration concerns as to your rights to remain in Australia whilst going through a divorce and experiencing domestic violence.

If you are at an immediate risk of danger, you should contact the police by calling 000. If you are otherwise experiencing domestic violence and are considering separation or divorce and have any questions or require assistance about the process, please contact our Family Law team at Nevett Ford Lawyers on (03) 9614 7111 or by email at melbourne@nevettford.com.au. If you have any fears for your safety in contacting or attending our firm, please be sure to advise us so we may take the necessary security precautions to ensure your safety.