Dealing with family violence

Family violence affects people from all walks of life and can happen in many different ways and in all types of family relationships. If you are experiencing family violence, we're here to help.

Family violence is behaviour by one family member to another family member, that is:
• physically or sexually abusive; or
• emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
• economically abusive, including withholding money for the necessities of life; or
• threatening or coercive; or
• in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes that family member to feel fear for the safety or wellbeing of that family member or another person; or
• causes a child to hear or see  or otherwise be exposed to the effect of the behaviour referred to above.

Our supportive Family Law team can provide you with the legal advice, support and guidance you need to help you protect yourself and your family from family violence. 

How we help

There are a number of ways our experienced Family Law team can help you deal with family violence:

Applying for a Family Violence Intervention Order

We can help you apply for a Family Violence Intervention Order (commonly known as an IVO).  This can be issued by any Magistrate's Court in Victoria. 

An IVO protects you from domestic violence by the perpetrator.  A standard order requires the perpetrator not to commit further violence, including while you are both living in the same home. It orders the perpetrator to stay away from you, including at your place of work, and to not contact you (except to make arrangements for the care of your children).

The Court can also order that the perpetrator leaves the home and does not return during the time that the order operates.  This requires the police to come to your house and escort them from the property, usually giving them only a few minutes notice to collect their belongings. The police can also issue family protection orders in emergency situations

Pre-Separation advice

If you are experiencing family violence perpetrated by your partner or spouse and you are considering leaving the relationship, we recommend you plan carefully before doing or saying anything.  

Our family law team can offer you practical pre-separation advice based on our many years of experience helping people dealing with domestic violence. 

Negotiating Separation

If you decide to leave your partner, we can then help you successfully navigate the legal process of separating from your partner including making agreements about the division of your financial assets, child custody and maintenance.

You can learn more about family violence and separation in our Helpful Guide to Successfully Navigating Separation and Divorce.

If you are separating from your partner, download our free separation guide for more helpful info!

1. Meet with us

If you are experiencing domestic violence, we recommend you organise a confidential meeting with a lawyer from our Family Law team, led by partner, St John Heath.

At this meeting, we will: 

  • talk about your personal situation and experience with domestic violence
  • explain the process associated with applying for an IVO, the implications and provide advice on completing the application
  • discuss other kinds of support and counselling that may benefit your family
  • offer advice on the best way to approach separating from your partner or spouse if they are the person perpetrating the violence against you. 

Our compassionate, supportive approach and extensive experience helping people from all walks of life deal with domestic violence issues are the reasons our clients choose us for this important work.  This meeting will cost $450 (inclusive of GST).

2. Prepare a cost-estimate

Based on the information gathered at our first meeting, we'll prepare a cost-estimate which clearly explains our recommended approach and the anticipated costs of appointing us.

This cost-estimate is based on our many years of experience undertaking this type of work. We pride ourselves on working as quickly and as efficiently as possible to keep your costs down. But we are not going to cut corners. Our focus is on looking after you. 

3. Implement agreed approach

If you are happy with our estimate, we then proceed with implementing the  approach that we have agreed. 

A Helpful Guide to Successfully Navigating Separation and Divorce

Are you in the process of separating or divorcing? Our free guide to navigating separation and divorce is here to answer your questions!

Download Now
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If you are separating from your partner, download our free separation guide for more helpful info!

Download now