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Home | Blog | Domestic violence in property matters

“Evidence is commonly given in general terms and when taken in conjunction with other evidence it can be tolerably clear what is meant. One would not expect any person who had been in a long relationship to remember the exact nature and frequency of recurring events throughout that relationship.”

Domestic violence and family law

The case of Britt & Britt [2017] FamCAFC 27 is a notable development in the family law realm and so far can be considered one of the most reputable cases of 2017 regarding Kennon arguments.

This Full Court decision allowed an appeal in a property matter where it was found that the wife’s evidence in relation to family violence should not have been excluded by the trial Judge. Rather, the trial Judge had muddled sections 55 and 56 of the Evidence Act, when considering “admissibility” and “weight”.

It was acknowledged that where the drafting of court documents lacked specificity it was unclear for the trial Judge to determine how often “regularly” meant for example. However, the Full Court clarified that if the evidence had probative value then it should be admissible regardless of its form if it informs the probative value of another piece of evidence. When viewed in isolation this may affect the outcome greatly as expressed by the Full Court when determining if the appeal should be allowed.

It is interesting to note that this decision was made not long before it was announced that the Federal Budget 2017-2018 would include the government’s pledge of $3.4 million over the next two years to expand and improve Specialist Domestic Violence Units.

For more information about how domestic violence may play a part in a property matter contact our Family Law team at Parramatta to speak to an Accredited Family Law Specialist on (02) 8833 2500.

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