Child abuse allegations
People involved in disputes about the future arrangements for their children after relationship breakdown are required to make a genuine effort to resolve the matter by family dispute resolution.
Section 60J of the Family Law Act sets out circumstances when families do not have to attend family dispute resolution services before applying to a court. The grounds relate to:
- there being abuse or a risk of child abuse if there was a delay in applying for an order, or
- family violence or a risk of family violence by one of the parties.
Section 67ZBB of the Family Law Act requires a court to take ‘prompt action’ in cases where a person applies for parenting orders and files a Form 4 (Notice of Child Abuse or Family Violence) alleging ‘as a consideration that is relevant to whether the court should grant or refuse the application’ that there has been abuse of the child by one of the parties or risk of such abuse if there were to be delay in applying for the order or that there has been or is a risk of family violence by one of the parties. For a copy of Form 4 see Related Links.
In considering the application, a court must consider what interim or procedural orders (if any) should be made:
- to have evidence provided about the allegations, and
- to protect the child or any of the parties to the proceedings and make orders as the Court considers appropriate.
The Family Law Act 1975requires parties to attend family dispute resolution before they apply for parenting orders (except as outlined above).
Magellan case management in the Family Court
You can read more about Magellan case management by going to the page titled 'Family Court of Australia pathways' in the About Going to Court section of this website.