Do I have to tell the courts about family violence?

Yes. You must tell the courts of any relevant family violence orders  and file a copy of any family violence orders as they may affect the court orders, particularly orders about a child spending time with a parent or other person. The courts must make sure that orders do not expose people to family violence.

If you do not tell a court about a family violence order, it may unknowingly make a parenting order that may put the person who has been granted the family violence order or children named on it at risk of violence.

When a court knows about a family violence order, it can make parenting orders that take the order into account. For example, it can arrange for an independent person to be present during hand-over times or order that the time the child spends with a parent or other person takes place at a children's contact centre.

Can I bring a support person or friend to a conference or other court appointment?

If you are not legally represented, you may have a friend or support person attend a court conference or other court appointment with you. The extent of a support person's involvement in the conference/appointment will be at the discretion of the registrar or family consultant conducting the conference/appointment.

If you have a friend or support person with you, they may sit at the back of the courtroom. Children and young people under 18 are not permitted in the courtroom.

During a hearing, parties who are not legally represented may be allowed to have a support person sit with them. The extent of the support person's involvement in the hearing will be at the discretion of the judicial officer.

Related Information