We regularly assist clients in matters involving domestic violence, both in taking steps to protect an aggrieved party and in responding to an application against a respondent party.
In Queensland, applications for Protection Orders are heard in the Magistrates Court. Although there are certain avenues available in the Commonwealth family law jurisdiction to protect a litigant, however it can be more expeditious to deal with such matters in the Magistrates Court.
There are a range of orders which can be sought and made to protect someone, their children, their family members and their associates in domestic violence proceedings. In addition to the mandatory conditions (such as being of good behaviour and not committing domestic violence), an aggrieved (or the applicant) can seek specific conditions such as:
A Court may make such a protection order against a person if satisfied that:
Daykin Family Law has extensive experience in representing both aggrieved parties and respondents in Protection Order matters and Court proceedings. From the outset, this can include advocating for protective measures to best promote a client’s safety (or that of their children, family etc), or responding to allegations of domestic violence against a client and exploring ways to resolve the issues safely and effectively.
When Protection Order proceedings are instituted, we represent clients from the first return date and each Mention in the Court, including any Reviews, up to a Trial. We work with you to explore the best evidence to put to the Court, which can include the preparation of witness statements, reports and/or subpoenas.
The area of domestic violence is often a nerve-racking one to navigate and, for some, the circumstances are terrifying. Daykin Family Law provides clear guidance on these issues, and determined advocacy where necessary.
We always primarily assess your matter to ascertain whether an early settlement is possible and, if so, what methods of alternative dispute resolution best suit your needs and circumstances. This is often the best way to save money and allow you to move forward with certainty. Whether it is negotiating in correspondence, in a mediation or choosing arbitration, there are a number of ways to seek to settle a matter without the Court’s intervention.
Legislation applying to the family law jurisdiction contains pre-action procedures before filing in the Court which can assist in avoiding Court altogether in some cases. These include steps around exchanging disclosure, attending mediation or family dispute resolution, actively seeking to resolve issues and exchanging offers of settlement, as some examples.
However, there are a range of circumstances where the pre-action procedures, alternative dispute resolution and/or settlement negotiations have either been exhausted or are inappropriate. In those cases, litigation may be the only reasonable path forward to urgently protect what is important to you, or progress towards finality.
Daykin Family Law has extensive experience in litigating family law matters in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in a determined and respected way across:
Exploring settlements during litigation is also part of the process, as often matters settle once certain stages of litigation are reached. This could include once disclosure is exchanged or expert reports are obtained (such as business valuations, property valuations, a family report, a psychiatric assessment, as some examples). The Court will often expect litigants to assess whether a mediation or family dispute resolution conference is appropriate as a means to attempt to finalise all areas of dispute at once.
If a matter cannot settle prior then a final hearing will be set down. The wait time for a final hearing depends on the conduct of the proceedings and the Court’s availability. It is extremely important that cases are properly prepared for final hearing to maximise the chances of a successful outcome.
We have close working relationships with some of Queensland and Australia’s most outstanding barristers and experts in the field of family law. Counsel is often advantageous to be engaged for advice and representation at different stages. As is the involvement of other experts in the areas of forensic accounting, property, financial planners and commercial lawyers, as some examples.
We pride ourselves on providing clear, pragmatic advice and guidance during litigation geared towards best promoting the outcomes you seek at each step.
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