Just because a Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) is in place, it does not necessarily mean that the parent subject to the FVIO will be denied access to see their children. This will be dependent on what is in the best interest of the child along with the conditions stated on the FVIO.
What is in the best interest of the child?
The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia need to consider what is in the best interest of the children when granting parenting orders. In accordance with s 60CC of the Family Law Act 1975, the primary considerations to determine what is in the child’s best interests include:
- The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and
- The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence
In applying the above considerations, the Court gives a greater weight to protect the child from harm.
Where there is a parenting order in place, and there appears to be little risk of violence or harm to the children, it is presumed that both parents should be allowed to spend time with the children, as it is in the best interest of the child to develop a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Where there have been serious allegations of family violence, the Court may make an order for the offending parent to have supervised visits with the child at a contact center or with another family member, with an eventual gradual increase in time spent with the child.
The FVIO (What Is A Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO)? (thefamilylawyer.com.au) may list family law conditions to allow for communication and contact specifically relating to family law matters. For example, a condition may state that the respondent can communicate with a protected person through a lawyer.
No one FVIO is the same, as each matter is unique, there can be different conditions and variations attached to each FVIO. It is important to note that whilst a FVIO is a civil matter, if an FVIO has been breached, it then becomes a criminal matter with a chargeable criminal offence.
If you need any assistance with your FVIO matter or parenting matter, our experienced family law lawyers can assist you, whatever stage it may be at. Get in touch with our lawyers for a FREE 15-minute family law consultation by calling 1300 111 835 or via email at email@example.com