New domestic violence laws proposed for Canberra

by Peter Magee on October 25, 2011

Peter MageeAre you experiencing domestic violence in Canberra?

Under new laws proposed by the ACT Government, it may soon be a criminal offence to commit any of the following acts:

– killing family pets

– being violent towards a carer, a person you used to be a relationship with, or maybe still are in a relationship with;

– being violent towards someone in a nursing home;

– emotionally abusing someone at home;

– using money and power to abuse someone (for example, withholding housekeeping money from a person).

These are all expanded definitions of the existing State criminal codes concerning family violence, and are intended to bring the Territory’s laws into line with other States such as NSW.

These laws may become law in the Australian Capital Territory in the future; however, no timeframe has been set.

In the meantime, what can you do if you are living in a violent relationship and wish to get out of it? You could consider seeking the following orders or assessments:

–         Orders allowing you to stay in the family home;

–         Orders making another person pay you housekeeping money, or pay the mortgage;

–         A child support assessment making the other parent pay for the children’s upkeep;

–         Orders restraining the violent person coming near you, your workplace, your home, your children’s schools;

–         Orders giving you a partial property settlement to meet your immediate ump sum needs

All of these orders are available through the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court in Canberra. If you would like some advice about your options, please call one of our qualified family law solicitors for an initial ‘no obligation’ conference to learn more.

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