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Part 4 - Tactical Family Violence Restraining Orders and Ethical Issues


Part 4 - Tactical Family Violence Restraining Orders and Ethical Issues

In our first blog regarding Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO’), we provided examples of tactical FVRO’s in the initial stages of a family law dispute.
Our second and third blogs focused on the impact of FVRO’s in children’s issues and financial issues.
With the new amendments to the law relating to FVRO’s, the Court is now able to consider many things, including whether or not a Respondent has committed family violence or may commit family violence in the future.
Family violence is now defined in the Restraining Orders Act 1997 and has a broad definition, which includes cyberstalking. The changes have made applying for and obtaining a Restraining Order much easier for victims of family violence. They also provide additional police protection for these victims.  However, there is now greater potential for a person to abuse the Restraining Order process and to use Restraining Orders for tactical purposes in the initial stages of their family law dispute.
For example, a client may use a Restraining Order as a tactical device to assist with their family law dispute, by:
  1. depriving a Respondent of any contact with their children; or
  2. evicting them from their home.
This is an abuse of the Family Violence Restraining Order system and misuse of the Courts granting the Restraining Orders. This is also a breach of the lawyer’s professional obligations if he/she advised a client to do this.
It is therefore important that a person bound by a ‘tactical’ Restraining Order, who is unable to spend time with their children, or set foot in their own home, receives ethical Family Law advice as soon as possible. This can reduce the time that the person is impacted, both financially and personally, by assisting them to regain the right to enter their home and spend time with their children.  
Butlers specialise in all areas of Family Law, with our experienced Team offering swift and personal service to our clients who find themselves requiring legal advice.  We understand the stress involved in Family Law procedures, and can explain and simplify these in our pursuit of achieving what you want.  Please contact us on 9386 5200 to make an appointment in our offices located at 45 Stirling Highway, Nedlands, Perth. 
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Thursday, 11 August 2022