How does an abusive relationship affect my family law issues?

Get your evidence

To get what you want, you may need to show that you've been abused. For example, proof of financial abuse is relevant if you ask for interim costs (see the step above for information on interim costs). Or, proof that your partner abused your children in the past is relevant if you ask for , which used to be called .

It is important to give the judge or family law professional specific and detailed information about the  you have experienced. You want the judge to understand:

  • the pattern of abuse — how often it happened and what caused it
  • how long it has been going on
  • whether it is getting worse
  • your safety concerns, based on past or current abuse

They also need to know whether your children are safe. You need to tell them about any:

  • threats your partner has made about your children
  • times your partner has taken and not returned your children
  • how your partner has harmed your children
  • information that shows your partner is planning to leave the country

You should also gather other evidence of the abuse or neglect. There are many types of partner abuse. Your evidence might include:

  • records of 911 calls
  • criminal charges, bail conditions, or terms of
  • evidence that your partner did not follow a family court in the past
  • hospital reports, if you went to the hospital for treatment after an assault
  • photographs of injuries
  • evidence your partner stalked you after you separated
  • emails, letters, text messages, voicemails, or social media posts that show abuse, violence, control, or harassment
  • documents from a that show how they've been involved with your family

You can also get other people to give evidence for you, such as:

  • your family doctor, if you talked to them about the abuse
  • your religious leader, if you turned to them for support
    your employer or co-workers, if they witnessed abuse, violence, or harassment
  • friends, family members, or neighbours, if they witnessed abuse, violence, or harassment
  • school teachers and day care workers, if the children spoke about or showed signs of abuse at home
  • shelter workers, therapists, or counsellors, if they have helped you
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