WA Family Violence Restraining Order

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by LovingDad1973, 10 July 2019.

  1. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I would really appreciate some advice from better informed people than me on a current matter I am dealing with.

    I will try to keep it as short as possible but in essence:

    • I have been in Family Court litigation with my ex-wife for the last three years over access rights to our two daughters (now aged 9 and 6)

    • In November 2018 (just before we went to full Family Court trial) we reached an agreement of me having the girls 5 nights per fortnight and half the school holidays. This was all captured in a Final Court Order

    • I was in a relationship with another woman from April 2018 to late February 2019

    • There are no children from this second relationship

    • This relationship didn’t end well. I finished the relationship but the lady tried to extort money from me and threatened to report me to the police for assault if I didn’t pay up.

    • I never assaulted this woman

    • I have countless text messages with my ex-girlfriend:
      • Where she makes threats that if I didn’t pay up she would call the police
      • Where I ask her to stop contacting me
      • Where she threatened to “cut the throat of a female friend of mine” because she was jealous
    • Eventually, I just stopped responding to my ex-girlfriend

    • One morning in May 2019 the police arrested me at my home to question me about allegations of “aggravated assault”

    • I went to the police station, was questioned and let go without charge. The police told me that this was the end of the matter as far as they were concerned

    • A few weeks after my arrest my ex-wife removed the children from my care because of “domestic violence”. My ex-girlfriend had got in touch with my ex-wife as she had threatened she would do if I didn’t pay up

    • My ex-girlfriend also alleged that I started using illicit drugs in July 2018. However my ex-girlfriend wrote an affidavit October 2018 for my Family Court proceedings where she stated that I “live a quiet life that revolves around doing activities with my children” and other positive things like I do nothing that puts my children at risk

    • Immediately after my ex-wife removed the children from my care I undertook a surprise unannounced drug and alcohol test, which came back negative. As it would be because the drug allegations were also false

    • I responded to my ex-wife’s lawyer that the police were not charging me and that the allegations of assault against my ex-girlfriend were false

    • It was at this point my ex-girlfriend applied for and got an INTERIM Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) out against me. This order was granted for a period of 5 years and without me being present i.e. ex-parte

    • My ex-girlfriend alleges that I assaulted her in late December 2018.

    • I ended the relationship in late February 2019

    • I had not had any contact with my ex-girlfriend since late March 2019. And only via text messages for the previous month

    • My ex-girlfriend applied for the FVRO in late May 2019 – 5 months AFTER the alleged assault

    • In late June 2019 I self-represented at Family Court and the magistrate made an interim order that the care arrangements around my children agreed with my ex-wife in the November 2018 Family Court Orders be reinstated immediately

    • I have Family Court ordered mediation with my ex-wife in August 2019 and another Family Court hearing in September 2019 to finalise this matter
    So to my question:

    How do I deal with the INTERIM FVRO from my ex-girlfriend?

    I have objected to the granting of the INTERIM FVRO and am scheduled for a final hearing in August 2019

    I would rather not incur legal costs and am considering self-representing. I have a file of evidence that shows it was my ex-girlfriend who was the abusive and controlling one in our relationship

    My only concern is my children and the Family Court proceedings.

    To be honest I never want to have anything to do with my ex-girlfriend again and would have just not responded to the INTERIM FVRO (allowing it to become Final) were it not for the Family Court proceedings with my ex-wife

    Therefore I have no problem complying with the conditions of the INTERIM FVRO which are I believe standard. e.g. no contact with my ex-girlfriend or her daughter etc

    However, I do not want the granting of the FVRO to be taken as an admission of guilt in the Family Court proceedings that I am still going through with my ex-wife.

    I have researched FVROs and have discovered that I can agree to be bound by the terms of a final order on a 'without admissions' basis i.e. I can agree that the Magistrate's Court in Perth can make a final order against me, without having to agree that there is any reason or need for it or admit that I did any of the things my ex-girlfriend says I did (i.e. assault)

    I believe this is called a Conduct Agreement Order

    Can my ex-wife use my acceptance of a Conduct Agreement Order against me in our Family Court proceedings?

    How do I even go about entering into a Conduct Agreement Order?

    Will the Magistrates Court approve the Conduct Agreement Order? Remember that my ex-girlfriend wants to punish me and has no genuine fear for her safety from me (I don’t even know her address and have not tried to get in contact with her since March 2019). So my ex-girlfriend may want to go to trial on the INTERIM FVRO. Although I can prove she lied in her submission to get the INTERIM FVRO her desire for revenge may cloud her judgment.

    What would people advise as my next steps? If I have left any gaps in the information I provided then please ask and I will fill in


    Any assistance would be very much appreciated
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Mate accept the avo without admission. Sure you could fight it but it will cost you. My thinking goes like this the avo / dvo or what ever.... They are called different things in each state. But your kids are not protected persons, nor is the ex wife. So it doesn't even relate to your kids. IN fact the avo is of no relevance what so ever to the family law matter. The fact that the magistrate has re-instated the court orders indicates to me that he has no interest in this BS. So do the mediation with the ex. You should feel confident that this wont impact on the time with kids...

    Conduct agreement? Nope - it will only work IF the ex girlfriend agrees. She's not gonna.

    But - In the event that this crazy chick makes any contact with you, especially via any electronic media, text messages, I want you to go straight to the cops. Maybe get on here and ask some questions... But that no contact order applies to her too. So if she starts sending you text messages, the cops will be interested and will likely take an avo out on her... But with crazy people, the best thing is to do nothing. It is a bit like when a wild dog is barking at you... Stand still and slowly back away. So guess what.... The avo is a good thing. The no contact order applies to HER TOO. Mate my ex wife took one of those things out on me. At the time I was seriously messed up over it. The thought I could be violent, having to tell my parents, having to go to court - the shame of it.... But, when the ex started contacting me.... And I called the cops... No contact means no contact... SWEET. So I changed my thinking. All of a sudden the avo was the best thing ever. I was legally obliged to not talk to my ex wife. AWESOME

    OR fight the thing. But you seem pretty emotionally beaten up right now? and rightly so... But like I said, if you fight it, you will be continuing a fight with crazy lady... Some fights are best avoided...
     
  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    oops a few more things to add.
    Look if you want to fight the avo, I reckon you could do so. But I'd be paying a solicitor. You just might find IF the nutter has to stand up in court and be challenged she might not even show. But you will need a solicitor. This is madness. But in NSW you can't self represent. See we've gone all marsh mellow soft. The accused cant directly question the accuser in court because the accused is a victim of DV and will be intimidated. Oh and the whole 'beyond reasonable grounds' doesn't apply.

    So mate, while on second thoughts, I'd like to see you challenge the avo... But if you've had no contact from her since March maybe she has exacted her revenge and is moving onto the next punter.

    Final bit of advice - get a dog. They are loyal, you don't seem to pick women very well. I like dogs.
     
  4. Step2Three

    Step2Three Active Member

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    I'm sorry to hear you've been put in this position. Having watched my husband go through a similar situation, I can understand that having been deprived any sense of 'justice' through the Magistrates Court (applicant requires no evidence, ex-parte hearing, having to pay $$$$ to have a solicitor present to maintain your right to question your accuser) you'd be concerned that the entire system is ready to let you down.

    I think you can take heart from the actions of the Family Court Magistrate last month that it's clear to them that the FVRO issue is separate to your parenting and relationship with your children. My husband's ex tried it on- blind-siding him with the order at their initial hearing (funny how she was suddenly "fearful" they day before Family Court, rather than at any point during their relationship or the 3 years since separation) and put on a good performance for their family consultant- demanding a separate private waiting room and escorts from court staff when they went for their session there, yet the consultant found it appropriate for them to continue in the counselling program rather than the magistrate track. These guys (and girls) have seen it all before.

    If you are comfortable to accept without admission as it appears your are (and it speaks to your focus on your girls that you're not letting pride or hurt feelings get int the way of clear decision making), then I'd think this is a good way to go. Firstly- you save $$ and mental energy that can go towards the parenting matter.It may actually be favorable that this order specifically prevents any further communication or interaction with a party causing conflict (i.e. children are at less risk than without it). Finally, while you would appear to have a strong case, standards for what constitutes 'Family Violence' are incredibly low ("shouting = violence" and conversely "not talking= violence") and standards of proof are only on the balance of probabilities, there is the small risk that the Magistrate would make a Final Order. The Family Court are likely to consider this in their decision making more as it is then a finding of fact, after evidence has been tested. It sounds like this is a risk you don't need to take.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    And I'd be hitting up the family court judge for make up time for time lost while mum withheld the kids.
    BTW did she apply for child support increase too?
     
  6. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    To be frank I have no desire to fight the FVRO with the ex girlfriend. Like you I think its great that we cant contact each other. There is a reason I finished it with her so having an FVRO enforcing our non-contact is fine by me. I could be all upset about the lies about me having assaulted my ex-girlfriend but I have learned to just brush off such crap and focus on my children

    My only concern is that not contesting the FVRO is how my ex-wife would try to spin it at Family Court.

    My understanding is that a Conduct Agreement Order is the same as the FVRO i.e. the police can arrest me and I can go to jail if I breached the conditions. The only difference being that its given on a "without admission" basis. Therefore the ex-girlfriend gets the "protection" of the FVRO (I literally dont want to change one condition in the INTERIM FVRO) without it looking like I assaulted her.

    I would have thought any magistrate would grant a Conduct Agreement Order as it "protects" the alleged victim without wasting the courts time or costing me and the alleged victim legal costs. But I don't know for sure.
     
  7. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    I havent read anywhere that I cant self represent re the INTERIM FVRO in Western Australia? Can anyone confirm?

    Also I am unsure how self-representing goes regarding questioning myself - do I just get to put my side of the story across. Asking myself questions doesn't sound right
     
  8. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    Such excellent advice

    I admit I have shocking taste in women. But I love the company of women and refuse to give up on the female race - one of these days I will find a non-crazy and live happily ever after
     
  9. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    The last three years of Family Court with my ex-wife has thought me many things. Among them is how to not let emotion control me and to focus/keep my eye on the prize - having sufficient time with my two daughters that allows me to be a proper dad/parent to them. So yeah my ex-girlfriend can make up whatever crazy crap she wants, I don't care so long as it doesnt affect my children.

    So yes I am happy to accept a Conduct Agreement Order on a without admission basis.

    But how do I accept a Conduct Agreement Order on a without admission basis? Do I tell the Magistrate at the FVRO hearing?

    I cant get in contact with my ex-girlfriend to offer a Conduct Agreement Order because of the INTERIM FVRO and I don't even know if my ex-girlfriend has a lawyer

    Can my ex-girlfriend object to a Conduct Agreement Order?

    If my ex-girlfriend objected to a Conduct Agreement Order (I am happy for it contain ALL of the conditions in the INTERIM FVRO) would the Magistrate see her objection as being malicious and award the Conduct Agreement Order?

    I can see no reason for my ex-girlfriend to not accept a Conduct Agreement Order as it provides all the protection she has requested via the INTERIM FVRO. Other than the INTERIM FVRO has never been about her protection but about revenge and trying to mess with my Family Court proceedings

    Thanks
     
  10. LovingDad1973

    LovingDad1973 Well-Known Member

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    I hear you but I want to focus on the future with my girls. And tbh I literally walked out of the Family Court after the Magistrate agreed with my argument and reinstated my time with my daughters. I self-represented and put everything into writing my affidavit. So I will let the lost time go on this occasion.

    My ex-wife didnt apply for child support increase - she usually waits until after the initial Family Court appearance, which she used to win before I wised up to her shenanigans. ;)
     
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