Family Law Practitioners Association of Tasmania Inc Conference – Saturday 11 May 2013

If proven, violence perpetrated against a spouse during the course of a marriage will usually constitute an important element in the resolution of the matrimonial litigation in relation to parenting orders and sometimes in relation to property orders. Normally violence by one spouse against the other spouse will directly or indirectly involve the children. If children are involved the impact of inter-spousal violence is significantly elevated. For the purposes of this paper I do not propose to canvas the significant issues surrounding allegations of sexual assault on children by a parent. That subject is a matter worthy of separate consideration. In this paper I have in mind, primarily, physical and significant psychological abuse by a spouse on the other spouse including violence directly or indirectly impacting on the children.

I intend to examine some aspects of the management of litigation involving such violence from the perspective of a spouse who is accused of such conduct.

I use the term marriage to include de facto relationships covered by the FLA.