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Family Violence: The Courts and Support Services available during COVID-19 pandemic

Family Law

Family violence is not just physical violence but can be threats, intimidation, withholding of financial resources, verbal abuse, stalking and other controlling and threatening behaviour.

The presence of family or domestic violence impacts on parenting matters and of course can impact on property matters. As practitioners we are acutely aware that in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater propensity, for family violence in our community.

The Courts have recognised that stress due to social isolation and job losses are expected to lead to a spike in family and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For this reason, the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court remains open, however they have introduced a number of changes in line with the Government’s policy on social distancing.  Where possible the Courts are using video conferencing or telephone conferencing rather that in-person court appearances.

In-person appearances are available, in circumstances where they need to occur, however the number of people allowed in a court room has been limited, cases are staggered, hearing times reduced, and rooms cleaned following a hearing.

In the Local Court, the Chief Magistrate has made the following changes, increased the use of audio-visual link technology, restricting physical attendance at court where parties are legally represented.

Provisional Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO’s) can remain in place for up to six months, if the court cannot consider them earlier.

Atkinson Vinden – Support Services

If you require our assistance at this time with your family law matter, property or parenting matter, then our family law team at Atkinson Vinden is available to assist you.

If you have concerns for yourself or other family members who may be impacted by family violence, please contact our office and speak with Anita Vayanos. Our office continues to remain open to assist our clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your matter is urgent or you or your family are in immediate danger, then you should contact the police on Triple Zero 000

Our Family Law Team have access to several referral services, including mediators and family counsellors who may be able to help you at this time.

The NSW Government Department of Communities & Justice website provides support for victims and their families.

Below is a table of Government support services which may be of assistance to you or other family members: 

  Support Line Service Telephone
1. NSW Domestic Violence Line 24/7: services and support 1800 65 64 63
2. 1800RESPECT Support for any person affected by domestic and family violence 1800 737 732
3. MensLine Australia Support for men experiencing or perpetrators of domestic and family violence 1300 78 99 78
4. Kids Helpline Support for children affected by family violence 1800 55 1800
5 Lifeline Australia Support at any time for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe 13 11 14
6. NSW Mental Health Line Professional help and advice for your mental health 1800 011 511

If you would like to speak with a family law lawyer to discuss your family law matter, then please contact Anita Vayanos on 9411-4466.

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