A client of mine recently shared his insights from his experience going through the state courts, defending domestic violence allegations whilst he also had parenting matters on foot. The lessons he learnt and the measures he has taken to protect himself in the future are likely relevant to many other parents who are involved in both parenting and domestic violence proceedings.
The issue in particular with clients accused of domestic violence with shared children is that they cannot simply cut off contact with the aggrieved. A co-parenting relationship exists and must be maintained.
Our practical tips for clients accused of stalking, harassment or abuse in the context of domestic violence proceedings are outlined below.
- Enable GPS tracking
A cheap and simple measure you can take to protect yourself is to enable GPS tracking on your phone, car and any other electronic devices which are on you throughout the day. I have had clients purchase smart watches with GPS tracking for this purpose.
What this does practically is enables you to be able to go back to a point in time and evidence your whereabouts. This becomes particularly important where a person alleges you are, for example, parked outside their house for a period of time.
- Purchase items with a credit card
Your credit card statement can be used to help identify where you were at a particular time. In particular, when you purchase an item at a supermarket the charge on your credit statement will be accompanied by a number which identifies which store (brand, location) you purchased the item from.
By purchasing items with your credit card, you will be able to establish your location at each time of purchase. You should use your credit card to purchase petrol, food and other day to day items to assist in establishing your location at various times.
- Request phone logs from your phone provider
If the aggrieved is alleging that you contact them excessively and this is not the case, it may be beneficial to obtain a record of your call logs from your phone service provider. This will evidence who you have called and at what times to assist in disproving any allegations of harassment.
- Keep a diary of your activities each day or use your outlook calendar actively
It may be beneficial to keep a diary which briefly outlines your daily activities. This will assist in disproving allegations that you were in a location when you had an appointment in a separate location.
A detailed and well maintained outlook calendar will also be sufficient for this purpose.
- Limit conversations with the aggrieved
To the extent you can avoid any discussions with the aggrieved, do so.
If it is necessary to correspond with the aggrieved on an ongoing basis, limit that contact to writing only. For example, if you are required to discuss parenting matters with the aggrieved, ensure this is done via text, email or a parenting application such as Our Family Wizard.
If you must speak with the aggrieved over the phone or in person, ensure a third party is present who is able to provide a statement regarding the conversation, if necessary. Ensure both you and the third party take notes of the conversation for your records.
These tips should assist you if you are involved in domestic violence proceedings.
If you require legal assistance during this difficult time, please call to arrange a 10-minute free discovery session to discuss your matter. Our team has extensive expertise in the areas of domestic violence and family law and can help you to understand your rights and options moving forward.
Are you facing domestic violence proceedings? You may be interested in our article - 5 Simple Ways to Gather Evidence to Support Allegations of Domestic Violence
Had a DVO sought against you? Please see our article for more information - Responding to Domestic Violence Order Applications