The Lighthouse Project – The family court shines light on family violence

21-December-2022 Family Law By Simone Green

Sadly, family violence continues to be endemic for Australian families with an increasing number entering the family law system. Recent changes implemented in the family law court (the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia) on 28 November 2022 now seek to identify at risk families entering the Court system early, by way of a confidential screening questionnaire.

Known as the Lighthouse Project, all new Applicants for family law parenting orders are invited to complete the DOORS screening questionnaire via an email. The information provided in these questionnaires remains confidential and inadmissible in evidence, with its sole purpose to identify at risk families and essentially triage their case management, with prioritisation of the most serious risk of harm caused by family violence, drug and alcohol abuse, child abuse and child neglect.

Specially trained court staff and judges review the responses to these screening questionnaires. Those considered as the highest risk are referred to a specialised court list called the ‘Evatt List’ and very carefully case managed by the Evatt List judge with a fast-track to hearing. Those cases not considered the highest risk, will be triaged towards family dispute resolution with additional safety protocols and provided with resources and information concerning family violence.

If you have questions or concerns regarding yours or your children’s safety in the Court system, or at any stage in family separation journey, we urge you to speak to our team of Family Law specialists about the steps that can be taken to maximise yours and your children’s safety and wellbeing. Call us today on 02 8197 0105 and let Streeterlaw help you resolve your family law dispute.

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