Family violence and family law in Australia volume 2.doc

I am terrified that if i am forced by financial

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I am terrified that if I am forced by financial duress to move further away that my ex will take out an injunction to force me to move back in, which I will not be able to do. If this happens, I am terrified that he will apply for full custody, citing my relocation as a deliberate attempt to prevent him from seeing his children. The issue of relocation also prompted regular responses about the need to move frequently in order to conceal an address from a violent ex-partner. One female respondent reported 11 moves in one year, including time in a women’s shelter. ‘I often feel the need to move for safety’ was a recurrent theme. Throughout this section, many commented that, although they were unhappy with and worried about the outcomes relating to parenting arrangements, allegations of child sexual abuse and relocation, a return to the Family Court was unaffordable or beyond their emotional capacity. Furthermore, some respondents commented that they were afraid that another hearing would result in worse arrangements. There was little hope expressed that an application to have orders changed would be understood or successful. Indeed some mentioned that they were worried that requesting permission to change shared care arrangements or to relocate would be viewed as a deliberate attempt to obstruct the other parent’s relationship with their child/ren: He made decisions on his own all the time without consulting me. I felt this was very unfair. I could not afford a solicitor to challenge this so I gave up. Threat used if I try to change circumstances. I would love to move away and start over, but I can’t move away from my ex, because he says he’ll get full custody of the children if I do. I feel if I do apply to move the violence and abuse may flare up again. 270
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3+Question 12: Based on your experiences, views and understandings of the current Family Law Act and the family law system, what do you think could be improved to help people establish safe, workable arrangements post-separation? Suggestions for improvement In the final question of this section, respondents were asked what could be improved to help people establish safe, workable arrangements post-separation, based on their experiences, views and understandings of the current Family Law Act and the family law system. Although this was the final question about separation experiences it was responded to at length and produced over 70 pages of text from 492 survey participants. Some responses included specific thanks for being asked this question, clearly grateful that there was an opportunity for their experience to inform policy and practice in the area of family law. There were 4 frequently cited areas that were identified as requiring improvement: Improved responses to the needs and wishes of children The most commonly identified area for improvement was to the ways in which children’s views and needs are responded to by socio-legal services involved in a couple’s separation. A quarter of
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