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What Does the Act Say? Domestic Violence & Relevant Relationships


Last week’s blog article covered the various definitions of domestic violence under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (“the Act”). You can read that article at: http://matthewlovefamilylawyers.com.au/the_definition_of_domestic_violence/.

However, domestic violence is also restricted to certain relationships which the Act calls “relevant relationships”. Whilst the term “relevant relationships” is quite a harsh term, the definitions provided under section 13 are quite broad.

An intimate personal relationship

This is defined by section 14 as:

  • A spousal relationship (including former spouses) which is defined further by section 15; or
  • An engagement relationship (including a formerly engaged couple) which is defined further by section 17; or
  • A couple relationship (a committed and often long term relationship) which is further defined by section 18. To find out more about what the court considers when defining a couple relationship please visit: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/dafvpa2012379/s18.html.

A family relationship

This is defined by section 19 as:

    • A person who is connected to the other party by blood or marriage and constitutes the common categories of family; i.e. parent, sibling, cousin; or
    • A party, whilst not connected by blood or marriage, but who is/has been considered and who considers himself/herself to be a member of the family. This category is defined by section 19(4) and examples can be found at: http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/dafvpa2012379/s19.html.


    An informal care relationship

    This is defined by section 20 as:

    • A relationship between a party who is dependent on another party (the carer) for an “activity of daily living” that is not a commercial relationship (i.e. where one party receives benefit from the care arrangement other than entitlements).


    By Daniel Oxley.

    The contents of this article are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Please seek appropriate legal advice before proceeding with any course of action.


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