Domestic Violence Protection Order Case Study

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III The Impact of Domestic Violence Protection Orders on the Presumption of Equal Shared Parental Responsibility and Family Dispute Resolution

A Definitions
1 Domestic Violence Protection Orders

For clarity amongst the state and territories and for the purpose of this paper, under the Family Law Act, a protection order is referred to as a ‘Family Violence Order’ with a subsequent definition of ‘family violence’ located in s 4 of the Act. A protection order or family violence order will be considered as an interchangeable term depending on the context and jurisdiction of the discussion in this paper.

There are two types of domestic violence orders, a temporary protection order and a protection order or ‘DVO’. The former, is exactly what it pertains to be,
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Briefly, the facts of the case are that: after a six-year (and extremely volatile) marriage the parties sought a parenting order. The trial judge ordered that the children should live with the father and that he would have sole parental responsibility for the children. The mother appealed this decision on several grounds including, that the trial judge failed to provide adequate reasons to rebut the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and the consequent avoidance of the provision of s 65DAA. Justices Coleman, May and Crisford looked specifically at the trial judge Justice Cohen’s reasoning with regards to family violence. Cohen J described the mother as being an ‘exaggerator and habitual liar’ which was consistent with the manner in which she went about getting the NSW equivalent of a domestic violence protection order. The ADVO included both of the children’s names and had incredibly strict guidelines attached despite very little credible evidence supporting the existence of domestic violence. Ultimately, Cohen J found that despite an existing ADVO order against the

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