Family Matters No. 77 - December 2007

Allegations of family violence and child abuse in family law children's proceedings

Key findings of Australian Institute of Family Studies Research Report No. 15.
Lawrie Moloney, Bruce Smyth, Ruth Weston, Nicholas Richardson, Lixia Qu and Matthew Gray

Abstract

In this article, the authors' discuss the key findings of their 2007 report, 'Allegations of family violence and child abuse in child-related disputes in family law proceedings', published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. This report was commissioned by the Attorney General's Department to examine the prevalence and nature of allegations of family violence and child abuse in family law children's proceedings; the extent to which alleging parties provided evidence in support of their allegations, and to which allegations were denied, admitted or left unanswered by the other party; and the extent to which court outcomes of post-separation parenting disputes appeared to be related to the presence or absence of allegations. The study investigated the records of 300 Family Court and Magistrate Court files in Victoria and South Australia from 2003. This article outlines the legal background and research methodology, and discusses the findings.

In this article, the authors' discuss the key findings of their 2007 report, 'Allegations of family violence and child abuse in child-related disputes in family law proceedings', published by the Australian Institute of Family Studies. This report was commissioned by the Attorney General's Department to examine the prevalence and nature of allegations of family violence and child abuse in family law children's proceedings; the extent to which alleging parties provided evidence in support of their allegations, and to which allegations were denied, admitted or left unanswered by the other party; and the extent to which court outcomes of post-separation parenting disputes appeared to be related to the presence or absence of allegations. The study investigated the records of 300 Family Court and Magistrate Court files in Victoria and South Australia from 2003. This article outlines the legal background and research methodology, and discusses the findings.

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Suggested citation:

Moloney, L., Smyth, B., Weston R., Richardson, N., Qu L., & Gray, M. (2008). Allegations of family violence and child abuse in family law children's proceedings: Key findings of Australian Institute of Family Studies Research Report No. 15Family Matters, 77, 8-15.