Amanda and Roger had been in a de facto relationship for about five years prior to Amanda attending our office.
In the twelve months prior to separation Roger had lost his job and had been drinking heavily. While drunk he was abusive and threatening to Amanda. The situation became so difficult for Amanda that she had to leave, taking just her clothes with her.
The first step taken on Amanda’s behalf was to apply for a Protection Order in the Queensland Magistrates Court. That Protection Order provided that Roger was not to come within 100 metres of Amanda, nor was he permitted to contact her.
As Amanda was forced to leave the home, we applied for what is termed an “ouster order” to remove Roger so that Amanda had somewhere to live.
The Queensland Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act has been recently amended to make it easier for victims of domestic violence to return to the family home and remove the perpetrator of the domestic violence. If a number of legislated conditions are satisfied, the court is able to make such an order.
The orders made in Amanda’s favour were on a temporary basis until there was either a trial or agreement on a set of final orders. We undertook negotiations with Roger on Amanda’s behalf to settle the matter without the parties having to incur the expense of having a trial.
Roger agreed to final orders being made which provided Amanda with protection from domestic violence, and also a place to live. Those orders remain in place for a period of 5 years. Should Roger breach those orders, his actions can be reported to the police and he can be charged with breaching the protection order. The consequences of such breaches are significant, ranging from the recording of a criminal conviction, a monetary fine, or even jail. At the end of the five-year period, Amanda is able to apply to the court for the Protection Order to be extended, if the circumstances are warranted.
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