Child Abuse

Child Abuse

The law says children and young people must be protected from harm, including child abuse.

The Federal Circuit and Family Law Court takes child abuse seriously. If your child is in a position of danger, then the court must act on it.

If you believe that your child is at risk, our best Family Law solicitors can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process to ensure the safety and well-being of both you and your child.

There are several options available to you, and it can be confusing and overwhelming, particularly when you may be feeling under threat.

Our team of Family Law solicitors have extensive experience in handling the most sensitive of cases, particularly when children are involved. I will help you move as quickly and safely through the legal process, with advice and support every step of the way.

If you have concerns about the safety of your child during time spent with the other parent, our best Family Law solicitors can assist you in making or defending against applications to restrict the other parent’s access to the child, tailored to your specific situation.

It may also be recommended to speak with the police about obtaining a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) to protect a child against the person causing the abuse. If you are applying for an FVIO, we can help by representing you. If you have been served with an FVIO, reach out to our team of Family Law Solicitors who can assist you with your case.

Children's Court Matters

Orders can be made by the Children’s Court for the protection and permanent care of children including:

  • temporary assessment orders
  • interim accommodation orders
  • protection orders and
  • permanent care orders

 

It is often difficult for a family to know their rights and to navigate the Children’s Court process. I understand the urgency of Children’s Court matters and seek to resolve child protection issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

My priority is to make decisions in the best interests of your child and your family.

It is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible, as Protection Applications by Emergency Care are able to be heard within 24 hours. Please call me on 03 8393 6569 if you require immediate assistance.

How is custody of children decided?

Equal shared parental responsibility (which is a presumption that the court will make unless rebutted in cases of family violence or child abuse) means that both parents have equal say in long term matters relating to their child. Examples of such a matter would be a decision on the child’s schooling/education, health and religion.

A common misunderstanding however is that the presumption including the right for both parents to spend equal time with the child.

When considering whether a child should spend equal time with both parents, the court will make the equal shared care presumptions, if not rebutted, and then judge each case based on the best interests of the child and reasonable practicability of equal shared care for the parties.

A non-exhaustive list of factors which the court might take into consideration include:

  • The parenting capacity of each parent and the nature of the relationship between parent and child
  • Whether there has been family violence or there is a family violence order
  • The physical proximity of both households
  • Whether there is a consensus between both parents on day to day life matters of the child for example diet, healthcare
  • If there is a disagreement on the above, the probability that the parents can reach an adequate compromise
  • The opinions and wishes of the child in relation to equal parenting arrangements, and the reasons behind them

 

If after considering factors such as the above, the court finds equal shared parent arrangements impractical, the court may then examine where it is the best interests of the child for one parent to have residential care and another to spend substantial and significant time with the child. Whilst not an equal parenting outcome, such an arrangement will ensure both parents having a real involvement in the everyday life of the children.

  • Parties can agree to an arrangement for the care of children either verbally or in writing.
  • If parents of children wish to, they can put their agreement relating to the care of their children into writing by way of a parenting plan or consent orders filed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia
  • We can help formalise your agreement by engrossing an Application and consent orders and filing the documents with the court
  • If parties cannot agree upon a suitable arrangement then we can write to the other party

I think my child is being abused by the other parent what should I do?

If someone is worried that your child is being seriously harmed or neglected or is at risk of being seriously harmed or neglected, they can make a report to Child Protection. If this happens, Child Protection may become involved and contact you.

What is neglect?

Neglect means a child is not receiving the care they need to keep them safe and healthy. This may include:

  • Hurting or threatening to hurt a young person, physically, sexually or emotionally, exposing a child to the risk of significant physical, sexual or emotional harm, such as being caught in the middle of family violence, allowing people with a history of child sex offences to be in the home, having care of a child while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, having care of a child whilst living with an untreated mental health issue.
  • Neglecting a child could also mean now giving the child enough food, clothing, shelter or necessary medical care or failing to provide proper supervision.
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Not sure where to start?

Book a free initial 30 minute consultation and I will guide you to the next steps.