Butlers News

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Recent News

Further protection for families in domestic violence situations

A person who has experienced Family Violence can find themselves dealing with several different areas of law (and processes), all at the same time. The different areas of law include Restraining Orders, Family Law, Criminal and Tenancy Law.

This is because Family Violence is a multifaceted issue and can be experienced by people of all classes, religions, ethnicity, sexual preference, and ages, both inside and outside of the home.

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Western Australia has the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence incidences. The Northern Territory has the highest.

1 in 6 women have experienced physical or sexual violence perpetrated by a current or previous partner. The rate of abuse for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women is considerably higher. Furthermore, 1 in 16 men has reported being a victim of family violence (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017).

It is fair to say that the majority of us here at Butlers are dog lovers, and, most of us treat our pooch like they are one of the family. So we entirely understand it when someone asks us during a separation, “but what about the dog?”.

There is no specific provision in the Family Law Act 1975 that deals with pets. Practically, you can try and reach an agreement between you as to who keeps the dog (or any family pet, including the goldfish!), or perhaps you can agree that you each spend time with the dog, each week. However, if you aren’t able to reach an agreement, the Court will deal with the dog in the same way as personal property.

One widely held misconception in family law is that, more or less, all of the assets and liabilities of a relationship will be divided 50/50. Many new clients come to us with the first line “I know that the starting point is a 50/50 split but…” This is not the case.