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Post-Separation Conflict and the Use of Family Violence Orders

Sydney Law Review, Forthcoming

Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/14

45 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2011  

Patrick Parkinson

The University of Sydney Law School

Judith Cashmore

The University of Sydney Law School

Judi P. Single

The University of Sydney Law School

Date Written: February 2, 2011

Abstract

181 parents in 164 different families in Australia who had been involved in disputes about parenting after separation were interviewed about the history of the dispute. In 37% of the families there were known to have been applications for family violence orders made by or on behalf of one of the former partners against the other. While there were some cases of severe physical violence, the majority of cases did not involve physical assaults causing injury, or a significant threat of such assaults.

The research demonstrates the great range of situations in which family violence orders may be sought. FVOs were sought in a number of cases to manage the process of separation into separate households and to maintain boundaries following separation. They were also sought to address issues of verbal abuse or alleged harassment. While applicants reported a valid legal basis for applying for family violence orders, in certain cases they were used as well for collateral purposes connected with potential family law disputes, on legal advice. While FVOs often played the protective role for which they were designed, they could also exacerbate conflict and make it harder to resolve parenting disputes. These findings raise questions about whether there needs to be some reform of Australian state and territory laws on family violence orders.

Keywords: Family Law, Domestic Violence, Restraining Orders, Parents, Dispute Resolution

JEL Classification: K10, K14, K30

Suggested Citation

Parkinson, Patrick and Cashmore, Judith and Single, Judi P., Post-Separation Conflict and the Use of Family Violence Orders (February 2, 2011). Sydney Law Review, Forthcoming; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1754169

Patrick Parkinson (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Judith Cashmore

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

Judi Single

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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