Amica

Perth Family Lawyers advise that on 30 June 2020, the Commonwealth Attorney General announced a new online service. This is called “Amica”.

In announcing this service, the Honourable Christian Porter MP, commented the following. This service will be “suitable to couples whose relationship is relatively amicable”. He went on to say that the purpose of it is to “enable users to negotiate and communicate online with their former partner at their time and their own space.”

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Parenting Matters

Amica can assist couples to reach agreement for parenting arrangements in a user-friendly manner. Amica helps parents to negotiate their parenting arrangements and to record them.

The arrangements that you make for your children following your separation are called parenting arrangements. As children grow and their needs change, parents may have to update and amend these parenting arrangements.

Amica can also assist you with discussing parenting arrangements for children of a relationship who are under the age of 18. This includes biological children, including those conceived with the assistance of IVF and adopted children.

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Property and Financial Matters

Amica can make suggestions regarding property division between the parties based on information which is entered by the parties. This is done using artificial intelligence, which considers legal principles and then applies them to real life circumstances.

If you and your partner agree with the division as proposed by Amica, you can then arrange between yourselves how would you like to divide your asset pool.

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This can only work, however, if your financial or/and parenting matters are not complex and you and your partner are amicable. If that is not the case, we suggest that you see one of our devoted family lawyers and discuss your matters with us. Perth Family Lawyers will be able to provide you with professional legal advice and advise you accordingly, can negotiate your financial and/or parenting issues on your behalf, or prepare any necessary court documents for filing with the Family Court or Magistrates Court.

Call our office on (08) 9325 8675 or visit our website www.perthfamilylawyers.com.

Has my phone been hacked?

It is not unusual that, if you hear strange sounds, clicks or static noise during your telephone conversations, you may be concerned your phone is being tapped. At Perth Family Lawyers, we are hearing more and more often that our clients are worried about their privacy being compromised and telephones ‘bugged’ by their current or former partners. It is a genuine concern and we are able to provide professional legal help and guidance if you believe that someone is listening to your phone or has hacked other electronic devices.

There are some things that may indicate that your phone calls have been listened to. If you recognise some of the signs discussed below, we recommend that you consider getting your smart device checked. We also recommend that you contact a lawyer and seek legal advice as to what would be the best next steps in order to protect your privacy. Perth Family Lawyers can assist with this and provide you with genuine advice about your next steps.

1. Unusual background noise

Strange background noise, such as high-pitched humming or a pulsating static sound while you are on a telephone call may suggest that your phone is, in fact, tapped. If this occurs only on a rare occasion, it is probably just a glitch, however if you notice it is happening more often, and especially if it happens several times in one minute, your phone may be tapped.

2. Reduced battery life

If you notice that your phone’s battery life is all of the sudden a lot shorter than it used to be or that your battery feels warm in your hands while the phone is being used, a tapping software might be running in the background and consuming your battery power. If you suspect this may be the case, you can use your phone’s settings to obtain detailed information as to what is shortening your phone battery’s life. If your battery is being drained by the apps you are using every day, then everything should be okay, however if you do not use those apps often, then you may have a reason to contact Perth Family Lawyers to obtain some legal advice and arrange to have your phone checked for spyware.

3. Suspicious activity

When a phone is hacked, it can start turning on or off on its own or begin installing apps without command, you may receive a text message containing jumbled letters or numbers from unknown senders, or there may be odd pop-up ads appearing more than usual. These can all indicate that your phone is compromised.  A major sign that your phone is being tapped is if your private data stored on your phone is being leaked online, such as emails, pictures, notes etc. If this happens, please call our office at Perth Family Lawyers immediately.

4. Electronic interference

Some spyware uses frequencies that are near the FM radio band and TV broadcast frequencies. If your radio emits a high-pitched sound when it is set on mono and dialled to the far end of the band, your phone might be interfered with. This is also the same with your TV – if it has an antenna and produces sounds when you bring your phone in its vicinity, then it may have been interfered with.

5. Unusually high phone bill

An unusual spike in text or data usage can also indicate something odd may be happening with your phone. It may be that you just downloaded a new app that uses a lot of date, of that your children used your phone while not connected to Wi-Fi, however if that did not occur, there may be another cause for your data consumption and we recommend you contact Perth Family Lawyers for advice.

6. Third-party apps

You should only download apps from than the App Store or Google Play Store, as third-party apps downloaded unsafely are a potential source for malware and spyware.  You should be careful if a recently downloaded application is requesting permission to access your call history, address book and/or contact list.

As noted above, the listed signs do not necessarily mean that your phone has been compromised, especially if only some of them have occurred. However, if you are going through a relationship breakdown or have recently separated and you think your partner or ex-partner may be attempting to track your movements or hack your devices, this is unacceptable behaviour classified as family violence.  Our team of experienced family lawyers at Perth Family Lawyers are here to provide you with advice and discuss your concerns to ensure you are protected as best as possible. Call Perth Family Lawyers on (08) 9325 8675 to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors today

How can parties arrange child support matters?

At Perth Family Lawyers, we recognise that there are 3 ways in which parties can arrange child support matters. They are:

  1. via a child support assessment;
  2. via a child support agreement; and
  3. via an informal agreement.

A Child Support Assessment

The Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 enables parents to apply to the Child Support Registrar to have an administrative assessment put into place, between the parties, based on information available to the Registrar. 

When the application is made the Registrar calculates the relevant amount of support that should be paid in accordance with a prescribed formula. This takes into account the number of children, both parents’ income and a number of other factors.

Once issued, the amount payable under the administrative assessment is enforceable by the Child Support Registrar against the liable parent.

The amount payable under the assessment is reviewable, which provides for one or both of the parties to seek a reassessment should circumstances change. For example, in the event a parent’s income increases or decreases significantly, or if there is a change in parenting arrangements. If you have any questions about child support assessments, then please contact Perth Family Lawyers.

A Child Support Agreement

The second way parents can arrange their child support affairs is by agreement. There are two types of agreement, namely:

  1. a Binding Child Support Agreement (“BCSA”); and
  2. a Limited Child Support Agreement (“LCSA”). 

A Binding Child Support Agreement (“BCSA”)

A BCSA replaces any assessment which has been made – although there is no requirement for there to be an assessment in place prior to entering into the agreement. The BCSA is unable to be changed in the absence of a further agreement, or unless the Court sets the agreement aside. This type of agreement is enforceable. Periodic payments usually being enforced by the Child Support Registrar and other types of payments (such as school fees) are also enforceable by the Court. Both parties must obtain independent legal advice in relation to the advantages and disadvantages of signing the BCSA before it will be accepted by the Child Support Registrar.

It should be noted, that seeking to set the agreement aside is both expensive and not guaranteed. This is because this is a matter of discretion for the Court. As such, a BCSA is the most secure way of permanently “locking” child support arrangements in place, however can be costly.  

A Limited Child Support Agreement (“LCSA”)

A limited child support agreement replaces the assessment, noting that there must be an administrative assessment already in place by the time the agreement is submitted to the Child Support Registrar. For the agreement to be accepted by the Child Support Registrar the agreement must be for at least the annual rate of child support that would otherwise be payable under the administrative assessment. Limited agreements can also be terminated by either party after 3 years by one party giving notice to the Child Support Registrar in writing.

Again, if you have any questions about any of this content, or you want to find out some more information, please contact Perth Family Lawyers.

Informal Agreement

If parties are largely agreeable and no assessment has been issued, they can simply enter into an informal arrangement based on mutual trust. Such agreements are unenforceable and can often cause issues in the event there is no documentary evidence setting out the payments made by the payee.

If you require any advice with respect to Child Support arrangements then contact one of our solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers on (08) 9325 8675, today.

At what age can my child decide who they want to live with?

At Perth Family Lawyers our solicitors are often asked by clients “at what age can their children decide which parent they wish to live with?”.  There is no clear-cut answer to this question. The legislation, the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), does not prescribe a particular age which gives children autonomy to make decisions with regards to where they want to live and how much time they want to spend with the other parent.

When the Family Court is asked to determine which parent a child is to live with, the Judicial Officer must consider 16 different factors and take each into account as applicable. Your child’s wishes (or views) are just one of these considerations and generally not the most important one. The weight given to any views expressed by your Child will also be dependent on a particular child’s maturity or level of understanding. The Court is primarily required to consider the benefits of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents and the need to protect the child from harm.

Sometimes clients provide instructions that they feel the other parent is attempting to ‘bribe’ a child to persuade them to want to live with them by showering them with gifts, or not imposing normal parental boundaries (for example, allowing them privileges the other parent won’t – such as giving them a mobile phone at a young age, or allowing them to have extensive screen time, or a late bedtime).  Our advice is to continue parenting your children as normal.  During a family breakdown, what your children require most is stability and consistency, and the same boundaries to which they are accustomed. 

The court will weigh different factors when deciding the child’s best interest as to their place of residence, such as:

  1. The child’s level of maturity;
  2. The child’s insight;
  3. The child’s understanding of the situation;
  4. Whether the child’s wishes are well informed;
  5. Whether the child has been influenced by their parents when deciding where to live, etc.

In certain situations, the Court will order an independent assessment be undertaken and provided to the Court in relation to the family and the child.  This can involve either a Family Consultant or a Single Expert Witness being appointed, to meet with your child and the parents, and provide a report to the Family Court as to the child’s understanding of the circumstances (considering the above listed factors) and recommendations.

In some cases, the court will appoint an Independent Children’s Lawyers for the purpose of providing an independent view as to the child’s best interests. What is in a child’s best interests, however, can sometimes be at odds with what their wishes may be.

Our solicitors provide genuine legal advice and Perth Family Lawyers can assist you with deciding what would be the best path for you to choose in the event that you believe that your child is being influenced by the other parent to live with them.

If your child is expressing a wish to vary their living arrangements, we strongly recommend you immediately obtain independent legal advice from one of our experienced family lawyers who can genuinely guide you to the right decisions to be made.  You should not act unilaterally and retain a child in breach of a longstanding parenting arrangement without first seeking advice.  Acting unilaterally regarding parenting matters can have a devastating long-term impact on your case before the Family Court. 

We urge you to seek legal advice from an experienced family lawyer as soon as possible. We are here to provide you with professional and efficient family law advice, and to negotiate your parenting arrangements on your behalf, or we can go to Court to represent you in the Family Court proceedings if needed.  

Balancing the child’s best interests with your own wishes can be challenging for some parents, and parenting matters require a level of experience and sensitivity to ensure your post-separation parenting relationship with the other parent is prioritised for your children’s sake.  The last thing any child needs is their parents being in entrenched conflict with each other.

If you have concerns with regards to your child’s living arrangements or know someone who does, call us at Perth Family Lawyers for genuine legal advice on (08) 9325 8675, today. 

Victims of violence can now apply for restraining orders online

Perth Family Lawyers have been informed that as of May 2020, victims of family and domestic violence can apply for restraining order online, rather than having to attend the Magistrates Court in person. New laws enabling this have been passed by the Government as a response to an increased risk of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and isolation that the pandemic has brought with it. 

Further, new laws were passed creating a separate offence for breaching of a family violence restraining order and increased the penalty from $6,000 to $10,000, and two years’ imprisonment.

Any people, that are the victims of family violence (which is not gender specific at all) can now apply for the restraining orders online.  Our dedicated family law solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers can assist you to apply for a restraining order and answer your questions with regards to same including the appropriate order to be sought.

After the application is lodged, the Magistrates Court will provide the applicant with a time and date of the hearing during which an interim order may be sought. In the event, however, that due to COVID-19 pandemic people cannot attend the court, they can contact the Magistrates Court to make an application to the Court to request orders to appear by alternative means. Again, Perth Family Lawyers may make such application on your behalf and lodge all other necessary documents for you. If a Magistrate grants an order and it is thereafter served upon the respondent, the applicant can be informed electronically, including via a text message, or via their lawyer at Perth Family Lawyers.

The online process is a step forward for Western Australia in access to justice and will help victims of violence by making it less stressful to seek protection. Our dedicated solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers can further ease the process for you by providing legal advice, and by guiding you through every step along the way. We recognise the importance of making the process as least traumatic as possible.

In the event that you are experiencing family or domestic violence, or know someone who is, don’t hesitate to contact us, we are just one call away. Our team can be contacted on (08) 9325 8675, or by visiting our website www.perthfamilylawyers.com

Child Safety Online

What our Lawyers say about online safety for your children

In the modern world we live in, young children are online before we know it. Connected toys, touch screens, different programs to watch on streaming services, video calling with family and friends, are just some of the ways children to use internet. Being online has many benefits for young children, including opportunities to explore their creativity, improve their language skills, solve problems, think critically and build relationships. However there are risks if young children use connected devices without supervision or for extended periods of time.   

Parenting children when you are separated can be overwhelming, particularly if you and your former partner are not on the same page, or are hypercritical of each other.  At Perth Family Lawyers, our solicitors have been involved in cases, when children being left to their own devices online has been the cause of contact being ceased, or children being retained, if they are exposed to inappropriate content.  Accordingly, we recommend to our clients that they protect themselves against allegations that they are not supervising their children during their periods of care by doing the following:


1. Be safe

Set up devices safely and ensure they are only used in communal areas as kids need to be protected from exposure to content that is not appropriate for their age. Don’t forget that your children could easily be contacted online by strangers or people who pose a risk. Identify who ‘safe people’ are, like family and close friends. Make sure your child knows what their ‘personal information’ is. This includes their full name, date of birth, address, contact information and photos that identify them. Explain that personal information should not be shared with anyone they don’t know.


2. Be Kind

Encourage children to be kind and respectful online. You can explain that being kind online helps to ensure that everyone has a good time. Talk to pre-schoolers about the risks of cyberbullying as they get older and let them know you are there if someone is ever mean to them online.


3. Teach your children to ask for help

Let your children know they should always ask for help from a trusted adult, being a parent, grandparent or their educator. They should ask for help if they are contacted by anyone online, if they encounter a pop-up, if they are unsure about anything, or if they see or hear something that makes them feel uncomfortable, scared or upset. Teach your children to ask permission before they watch a new program, play a new game, explore a new website or download anything onto a device.


4. Make good choices

Get involved and take the time to sit with your children and watch their favourite program or play their favourite game together. Ask many questions – Why do they like it? Why do they want to watch or play it? How often do they watch it? Decide which activities will be ‘explored together’, ‘supervised’ and ‘independent’. All new applications, games and content should be ‘explored together’.


5. Balance screen time

‘Tech tantrums’, are outbursts when you stop your children’s screen time. It is normal behaviour for children to not want to stop a fun activity, whether it is online or not.  We suggest you use a timer — and decide on the right amount of time and use a timer or a screen time monitor that blocks access. This can be helpful with very young children as they see the device is ‘turning off’, rather than you removing the device from them.

  • Help your children transition to another activity — in the last five minutes of your child’s screen time, sit with them and engage with what they were doing. Suggest some other interesting activity which would make their screen time sound boring!
  • Agree on device-free times — agree with your family about when everyone should put their devices down. Depending on your routine, for example this may be during lunch or dinner, or in the evening, or whenever works for everyone.  It is critical that families spend time together ‘device-free’.
  • Turn off all devices an hour before bedtime — research shows it is important to turn devices off at least an hour before bedtime to ensure your child has the best quality sleep.  We know how vital it is for our kids to get a good night’s sleep to ensure they are healthy, mentally and physically.


If you have experienced issues with securing time with your children, or you are concerned about your children in the care of the other parent, we recommend you obtain independent family law advice from our skilled and dedicated family lawyers at Perth Family Lawyers.  We have significant experience in dealing with parenting disputes and have many tools in our kit to assist you to get the best outcome for your children.

Family Dispute Resolution

It is compulsory in Australia for people who have separated to attempt Family Dispute Resolution (“FDR”) before applying to a family court for orders in relation to parenting matters. There are some exemptions to that compulsory requirement, however, including:

  • Where issues are required to be dealt with on an urgent basis, such as a concern that the other party may attempt to leave the Country with a child of your relationship;
  • Where family violence or child abuse is a factor;
  • When you are formalising an agreement through ‘consent orders’;
  • When a person is unable to participate effectively (for example, due to incapacity or geographical location); or
  • When a person has contravened and shown a serious disregard for a court order made in the last 12 months.

FDR is defined in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), specifically at section 10F as “any non-judicial process where an independent FDR practitioner helps people affected, or likely to be affected, by separation or divorce, to resolve some or all of their disputes with each other”. In more basic terms, FDR is a special type of mediation used to help separating families come to their own agreements. To assist in reaching an agreement, an FDR Practitioner will help you consider different options, while encouraging you to focus on the needs of your children as well.

During the FDR process, the mediator will do an individual session with yourself and your ex-partner, before scheduling a joint session. You don’t need a solicitor to attend with you at FDR, however we strongly suggest you obtain legal advice from a solicitor experienced in Family Law prior to attending, so you are well aware of your rights and responsibilities.

We at Perth Family Lawyers regularly work with FDR practitioners more extensively as FDR develops, often being engaged by a party after they have completed FDR to assist in formalising their agreement through ‘consent orders’.

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, many Family Dispute Resolution services are offering mediations and intake sessions via video or telephone conference. Perth Family Lawyers are set up and ready to go with the latest technology to assist you during an FDR via telephone or video link, with services running as smoothly as ever.

FDR can be useful in helping you reach an agreement which will ultimately save you money, and time. Family Dispute Resolution also gives you control over your own matter and any agreement reached, rather than leaving it in the hands of a Court to decide. Our Family Law Solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers have significant experience in representing clients at FDR but understand that sometimes going to court might be the only way to sort things out, and are skilled litigators when that course is required.

Perth Family Lawyers are here to help and assist, whatever stage your matter is at. Please call us today, on (08) 9325 8675 or visit our website on www.perthfamilylawyers.com to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled solicitors.

The impact of COVID-19 on relationships

New data has confirmed that the coronavirus lockdown has put a strain on relationships.

study on the impacts of Covid-19 show that 42% of people have experienced a negative change in their relationships during the last few months. It appears that this statistic is directly related to the finding that 55% of people reported feeling challenged by their living arrangements during this time.

The enquiries that Perth Family Lawyers have received over the last few months contain some familiar themes including the stress of our change in lifestyle, financial stress, uncertainty, juggling working from home, looking after kids, and home schooling. It can be difficult to maintain a positive and healthy environment when you are forced into a lockdown with all the uncertainty that brings.

By way of example, often conflict can arise between family members during holidays periods such as Christmas and Easter, as families spend more time together than usual.  Being forced into lockdown can make areas of conflict much more apparent and emphasised as people suddenly don’t have the usual structures of their routines like work, school and social events.

At Perth Family Lawyers we have experienced a spike in people seeking advice over their relationship issues or preparing for separation shortly after such holiday periods.  The Coronavirus lockdown had brought all the same problems to the helm that holidays do, minus the Christmas spirit or chocolate eggs.

To further add to the issues, many couples have experienced that being together more often leads to a decline in intimacy.   Studies indicate that spending too much time together can have a deleterious effect on desire and create intimacy issues in couples.

Further, the pandemic has impacted on some couples making it financially or physically impossible to separate and forced them to reside as ‘separately under one roof’, which can be extremely difficult to navigate and shortly becomes untenable. 

Whilst this is the case, our solicitors and staff at Perth Family Lawyers have also noticed that people that were separated, have been more prepared to compromise and to come up with clever ways to figure things out, support each other, and maintain their post-separation relationship. This must be the positive side of the pandemic.  For some couples fighting against the mutual enemy that is COVID-19 can result in them compromising and being willing to cooperate or settle their outstanding issues.

More good news is that more than 90% of survey respondents said they had experienced no change or a positive change in their relationships with their parents, children, friends, extended family, neighbours and colleagues.

These are unprecedented times and we are yet to see what long term impact will occur in lives and relationships. What is apparent is that everyone needs support. Your friends and family can provide emotional support and comfort. But we are here to provide legal support, advice and assistance through this confusing period and answer your questions and doubts. Perth Family Lawyers are here to assist with your children’s matters and financial matters, we are ready to negotiate the best possible outcome for you and your kids, and we are a strong and passionate team.

If you need legal advice or know someone who does, call Perth Family Lawyers today. Our number is (08) 9325 8675 and our door is open for you from Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. We are in this together.

Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, we live in a world where victims of domestic violence have been horribly injured or murdered by their partners.  People who do not understand the complex dynamics involved in family violence always seem incredulous that victims stay in those relationships.  It sounds like a simple solution that if a partner emotionally, physically or sexually abuses you, “you should just LEAVE”.  However, we at Perth Family Lawyers know that leaving an abusive relationship is never easy. It may take months or years of planning.  Unfortunately, in many cases even after the victim leaves the relationship, they may still not be really free. Statistics show that a victim it at greatest risk of violence immediately after leaving a violent relationship.

Our staff at Perth Family Lawyers have been hearing more about financial abuse in the recent times, as the world is becoming more aware of financial manipulation being used as a tool of family violence.  Leaving can be expensive and many victims who are in abusive relationships are financially controlled and do not have free access to money.  Furthermore, following separation abusive ex-partners often use settlement negotiations and court proceedings to financially burden their victims, by refusing to co-operate, mediate and prolonging the proceedings unnecessarily. 

Furthermore, it is not uncommon following separation that other financial consequences can flow as a result of an abusers conduct, for example, allowing bills (such as gas, electricity or land and water rates) in their victims name to remain unpaid, ceasing payment of the mortgage, or cancelling the internet or their mobile phone plans (if it was in the abusers name) leaving a victim without a means of communication.  If you are experiencing this sort of conduct, it is vital to get legal advice immediately to protect your financial reputation and credit rating.

Our dedicated solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers always try to consider and advise as to the most cost effective and strategic legal solutions to exhaust all efforts to resolve matters well before they reach the courts.

In addition, in some families the parent required to pay child support can manipulate the child support system by way of hiding income, working for cash in hand, or reducing or underestimating their income, meaning that child support payments are lower than they should be.  This can add additional financial pressure to a victim following them leaving the abusive relationship and can result in parents incurring debts to pay for the activities their children are doing. 

“Forgetting” to return the children’s clothes and other items after handover can also be used as a weapon, as this would mean the other parent would have to buy everything new, repeatedly. Such behaviour can be both financial and emotional burdensome.

Solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers understand that this may put people looking to leave an abusive relationship in an impossible and untenable situation which may place them at risk of returning to or remaining in an unhealthy and abusive relationship.  Our solicitors are highly trained to provide advice and guidance as to how to avoid getting back into the unhealthy and dangerous relationships when such circumstances occur or to assist victims to plan an exit in a safe manner, to protect the physical and emotional wellbeing of the victim and the children.

Cyber stalking, tracking devices, apps and the use of other technology can also be used to track victim’s movements after or during the relationship, or to record or keep a victim under surveillance.   At Perth Family Lawyers we can refer you to services who can assess your devices and sweep them for such technology and who can provide expert evidence to a Court of the installation of such technology.

As part of their attempt to control their victims, abusers have been known to threaten to harm or kill themselves as a way to force victims to return or stay in the relationship.  It can hard to understand how difficult it is for the victims and what is happening behind closed doors. It’s precisely this lack of understanding of the ongoing nature of domestic violence which needs to be addressed. Domestic violence is far more widespread than most of us realise. Almost 25 per cent of women have reported experiencing violence by a partner since the age of 15.

For so many victims, the abuse does not end just because the relationship is over.  At Perth Family Lawyers we know this and tailor our advice to provide strong legal solutions and support, and to guide them through this difficult period.

If you are experiencing some form of the abuse discussed in this article or know someone who is, who would benefit from our experienced and dedicated family law advice at Perth Family Lawyers, please call us today, on (08) 9325 8675 or visit our website on www.perthfamilylawyers.com. You are not alone and we are here to help.

Secret Recordings

Are you tempted to secretly record your ex?

We suggest that YOU DON’T DO IT. Recording conversations without the knowledge or consent of the other person may result in you breaching the Surveillance Devices Act and Commonwealth Telecommunications Act. Serious criminal penalties can apply. 

At Perth Family Lawyers we know the impact that family breakdown can have on you emotionally and psychologically and it may be tempting to secretly audio or video record conversations or your contact with the other party, however such conduct can result in criminal charges being brought against you, and the recordings not being permitted to be relied upon in Court hearings in any event. 

Recordings can take the form of video recordings, such as of handovers, or audio recordings, for example telephone calls.  There have been occasions where clients of Perth Family Lawyers have sought to rely upon recordings in their evidence before the Family Court of Western Australia.  It is clear from a review of those recordings that the recordings took place without the knowledge or consent of the other participants to the conversation. 

In these cases, it may indeed have been unlawful to make the recording.  Further it must then be demonstrated by the person making the recording that it was necessary to do so to stop serious or immediate harm from occurring.  A Court will also give consideration to the fact that the recording party is aware of the recording and thus is likely to be presenting a much more favourable version of themselves in the recording, than if the recording was not being made.  A Court will also have regard to the fact that the recording party themselves has likely acted illegally and this may influence a Judge’s view on the character of that person.

We recommend that you obtain immediate advice from Perth Family Lawyers regarding your separation, so that you have the right advice at the right time to enable you to make good decisions, and to conduct yourself in a way that will not prejudice you or impede you securing the best outcome for yourself. 

The solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers are highly trained and experienced and can advise you about the legality of recordings, or advise you if you suspect you are being recorded unlawfully.  Being subject to surveillance and being recorded can also be considered an act of family violence, which can be the subject of Restraining Order proceedings.  A Court may refuse to permit recordings into evidence and the judicial officer will need to weigh upon what is shown in the recording against the public interests in upholding that private conversations should not be secretly recorded. 

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