Domestic Abuse

This is a time when you need all the help you can get.

We understand the complexity of domestic abuse.

Considering leaving an abusive relationship?

Are you trying to achieve secure housing, income security and financial independence? As the protective parent, do you need a parenting arrangement that safeguards your children?

Gowland Family Lawyers can assist you to navigate the legal system and provide information and advice to help you make the best decisions for your circumstances.  

Every communication you have with us as your lawyer is completely confidential and this confidentiality is strictly protected by law. 

You may need advice on preparing to leave and ensuring secure housing, income security and financial independence, so you can heal and recover, safe from violence. 

Our experienced, compassionate lawyers can help with planning your safe exit from a relationship. This might include advising you on gathering evidence and information to take with you, assist with an Apprehended Violence Order and working with domestic abuse services. 

Preparing and planning for your future 

Often before you leave an abusive relationship, there will be many pieces to put together to create the right time and place to take your first steps to leave. The other services we offer can help you plan how to achieve financial support, secure housing and post-separation parenting arrangements.   
Be aware that pets are often used by abusers to stop you leaving, so you may need to consider any pets in your plan to separate. 
Once you have everything in place to make the safest possible exit, our lawyers can assist you by starting communications with your ex-partner. That way, you can focus on your recovery and healing.  

We understand the complexity of domestic abuse 

For you to even consider leaving is incredibly difficult.
Abusers strive to silence you and maintain coercive control. 
Abusers are often narcissists, using tactics such as gaslighting, victimising and victim blaming. They are often master manipulators and will try to falsely present themselves as the victim.

We will not be fooled by an abuser’s manipulation or gaslighting.   
We have a deep understanding of the complexities of domestic abuse, our lawyers are highly skilled in obtaining evidence of domestic abuse if required, for any negotiations or court proceedings. 

Landmark cases 

By our strategic advocacy and casework, Gowland Family Lawyers has made a positive impact on the family law and legal systems, as well as on the lives of women and children.   

We have made the family law system work to protect women and children from domestic violence and abuse, for example:

S & F case FCCA 1830 – A case about the father’s domestic abuse; Father to have no contact and mother to have sole parental responsibility.

The Court in this parenting case granted the mother an order that the father could not contact nor communicate with the child.  The Court also made orders for the mother to have sole parental responsibility of the child. The Court recognised the effect upon the child and upon the mother of the father’s domestic abuse.

S & F case FCCA 1831 – A case about obtaining a legal cost award.

The Court in this legal-costs case granted an order in favour of the mother for the father to pay the mother’s own legal costs as well as the mother’s share of the costs of the Independent Children’s Lawyer.

National Domestic and Family Violence Court Bench Book, Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Inc.

The Bench Book is a central resource for judicial officers considering legal issues relevant to domestic and family violence cases, and assists them with decision-making, judgment writing and determining the appropriate course of action in any individual case.  

Included in the Bench Book is our 2015 case, Corby & Corby [2015] FCCA 1099 where the mother’s secretly-recorded evidence of the father’s violence was admitted. 

Law Reform 

Gowland Family Lawyers’ law reform submissions have been an important part of the evidence base for law reform and policy development. Some of our submissions to government include: 

Presentation to Coercive Control Inquiry 

Presentation to NSW Parliamentary Inquiry: Response to Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Bill 2022.

Gowland Family Lawyers expertise was recognised by NSW Parliament who invited Gowland Family Lawyers to address the Parliamentary Inquiry on the benefits of criminalising coercive control.

See our services page for our other areas of expertise.