DOOLAN WAGNER - family lawyers sydney

Domestic Violence Lawyers Sydney

Understanding all your options so you can help turn your life around

If you or your children have been confronted with domestic violence, ensuring the family’s safety is paramount.

Violence and aggressive behaviour towards another individual is inexcusable and should be addressed to prevent future transgressions.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers is a diligent and compassionate family law firm that will manage your domestic violence matter with utmost sincerity and respect. During our years of practice, we’ve assisted countless families in securing their safety and freedom.

Our dedicated team of Sydney domestic violence lawyers is here to guide you through this challenging and difficult time, helping you turn your life around for the better.

Get in touch with us today

What is classified as domestic violence?

Domestic violence is broad in its definition, containing various negative behaviours. One can consider domestic violence to be any dangerous behaviour committed by a person towards a family member or someone they have or have had an intimate relationship with that causes that person to fear for their safety or wellbeing.

These behaviours can include physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse and social isolation.

The types of domestic violence

Domestic violence, also known as family violence, intimate partner violence or domestic abuse, is a pattern of behaviour that involves the use of power and control by one person over another within an intimate or family relationship. Under family law, domestic violence can take many different forms, including:

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is any intentional act that causes physical harm or injury to a person. This can include hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, choking or using weapons.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse involves any form of unwanted sexual contact or activity, including rape, sexual assault, unwanted touching or forcing a person to perform sexual acts.

Emotional and psychological abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse involves any behaviour that causes emotional and psychological or other mental health distress, including verbal abuse, humiliation, degradation, isolation or intimidation.

Financial abuse

Financial or economic abuse involves controlling a person’s access to money or other resources, including using financial means to control or manipulate them.

Spiritual abuse

Spiritual abuse involves using religious or spiritual beliefs to control or manipulate a person, including using religion or spirituality to justify abusive behaviour.

Stalking and other harassment

Stalking or harassment involves persistent and unwanted behaviour that causes fear or distress, including following a person, making threats or sending unwanted messages.

It’s important to note that domestic violence can involve a combination of these types of abuse. All domestic violence cases are unique and require tailored guidance and full support services.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers assesses all family law and domestic violence matters on a case-by-case basis, assuring our clients that we can assist with whatever form of abuse they are experiencing.


Are you subject to repeated derogatory taunts?

Do you feel like your partner or spouse has prevented you from contacting your other family members, friends or culture?

Have you been living with someone who unreasonably withholds financial support from you when you need it or prevents you from having your own financial independence?

In Australia, all of these behaviours are recognised by the law as examples of family violence. So, if you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could be regarded as experiencing family violence.

Today, family violence is widely accepted to mean violent, threatening or other behaviours by one person that coerces or controls another family member or causes that person or other family member to be fearful.

Parenting concerns, domestic violence and property settlement — how we can help

Our trusted family and domestic violence lawyers are here to help you through these challenging times and provide sensitive guidance and support. We understand how difficult it can be to leave a relationship when experiencing family violence. We can empathise with the shame and stigma that you may be feeling at this time and will do everything in our power to rectify your situation and ensure your safety.

If you are worried about your family’s situation, your children or your own safety, you can be confident that your fears will be taken seriously at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers. And you can rest assured that you will receive our very best personal attention and our full commitment to your family law matters.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are also strong advocates. We will not falter when you need solid and expert court representation. We understand how daunting and distressing it can be to confront your abusive partner in court, which is why we take extra care in assuring your safety and well-being.

Our domestic violence lawyers provide more than just expert legal counsel; they can offer unwavering support and become your pillar for emotional stability.

Parenting and child safety concerns


Leaving a dangerous and abusive relationship is an act of courage and should be commended accordingly. But feelings of isolation and the stigma that comes with being a domestic violence survivor can leave many unsure of their next steps. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers provides legal guidance in major family law and domestic violence matters, including property settlement and parenting concerns.

Parenting and child safety concerns

Committed to upholding your and your children’s safety, our domestic violence lawyers can provide practical guidance, no matter what stage you’re at with your case. For instance, we can advise you when it is appropriate to seek an ADVO (Apprehended Domestic Violence Order) and offer support in communicating your concerns to the police.

As part of its efforts to protect vulnerable members of the public, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia follows The Light House Model to screen for risk and provide a positive outcome for families involved in domestic violence situations, assessed via the Family DOORS Triage questionnaire.

If you’ve been asked by the court to complete this screening questionnaire, we’ll help you with your next steps regarding your answers.

Other areas we can assist you with include:

  • Completing your notice of risk — This is a form you must fill out if you are making an allegation of or family violence. It ensures you and any children involved receive appropriate and early intervention, and these allegations are reported to appropriate authorities.
  • Obtain interim parenting orders— If you believe there is an unacceptable level of risk involving your children, our domestic violence lawyers can help you respond to these concerns by obtaining a temporary parenting order. This is also applicable to suspension of time and visitation arrangements.
  • Relocation — If you and your children must relocate to guarantee your safety due to family violence, Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can help you through this transition and prepare the necessary parenting applications for relocation.
  • Implementing independent children’s lawyers — For more complex and sensitive domestic violence cases, we may recommend an independent children’s lawyer and assist in preparing the required documents.
  • Gathering evidence — Section 60CC under the Family Law Act (1975) emphasises the need to protect children from physical and psychological harm. To prove there is a risk of abuse to the Court, we will gather and prepare evidence that demonstrates these claims.

Domestic violence and property settlement

During your domestic violence case, you will also need to consider your capability to support yourself financially and manage your property and other assets. Our domestic violence lawyers are well-versed in this sector of family law and can provide property settlement assistance in the following areas:

  • Spousal maintenance— If domestic violence has rendered you unable to support yourself financially, we can assist you in preparing a spousal maintenance claim.
  • Exclusive occupation orders— Our domestic violence lawyers will inform you of your rights to hold exclusive occupation over a building, such as the family home, and assist in preparing the applications for exclusive occupation.
  • Identifying the impact on property contributions— If your ability to contribute to your property obligations and future needs has been impacted by domestic violence, we will gather evidence to demonstrate this to the Court.
  • Interim property and costs orders— For clients that require financial assistance to fund their cases, our domestic violence lawyers can assist by preparing interim property or interim cost orders for clients that require financial assistance to fund their cases.

Responding to allegations of domestic violence

Under Australian law, domestic violence is a serious allegation and should be treated as such. If you have been accused of domestic violence or are facing other allegations related to family violence, you must seek the legal counsel of a highly trained domestic violence lawyer.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers has vast experience representing clients accused of domestic violence and understands the intricacies of the regulations and legislation governing this claim. In addition to responding to this allegation, we can also provide counsel in the following areas:

  • Addressing unacceptable risk concerns and issues contained in a notice of risk
  • Provide recommendations on how to communicate with police and obtain information regarding a complaint
  • Preparing evidence to respond to family violence allegations
  • Responding to parenting applications for relocation, exclusive occupation orders, interim property or cost orders and spousal maintenance claims


You may be facing allegations that you have perpetrated family violence, or you may even be subject to an AVO (Apprehended Violence Order), bond or undertaking that restricts your behaviour or prevents you from spending time with your children.You may be required to participate in anger management courses or attend specific therapy, and you don’t know why or want to make sure that the Court hears the full picture.

AVOs are a major factor in your domestic violence case and will be heavily scrutinised. If you are facing an AVO or have already been served with one, the domestic violence lawyers at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can help you defend or appropriately respond to an AVO.

Additionally, being accused of “acting out”, making one or two mistakes that you later regret or facing continuing obstacles and criticism when your intimate relationship breaks down is painful and frustrating. This is especially so when your children are involved.

Our experienced domestic and family violence lawyers can help you navigate this difficult path, and we can clearly explain all the options available to you to improve your situation.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers — Leading domestic violence lawyers in Sydney

Domestic violence and family abuse continue to be an ongoing yet invisible issue across the country. And, if you have found yourself in a dangerous situation because of a partner or family member, ensuring your safety and peace of mind is non-negotiable.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can help you work towards a better future through tailored guidance and recommendations. Our accredited legal team takes your concern seriously and will spare no effort to help you and your family attain security. We also take great care in your representation and are prepared to present a solid case that upholds your needs.

Have your matter taken care of by getting in touch with one of our respected domestic violence lawyers today.

Contact us today

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes domestic violence?

Domestic violence is any dangerous behaviour directed by a person towards a family member or someone they are in or have had an intimate relationship with, causing them to fear for their safety or well-being. This includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, financial abuse, and social isolation.

How is domestic violence classified under family law?

Domestic violence can manifest as physical, sexual, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse, spiritual abuse, stalking, harassment, and more. Each case is unique and requires specific guidance.

How is domestic violence different from family violence?

Though often used interchangeably as domestic or family violence, family violence is a broader term that encompasses all forms of violent or controlling behaviours within a family, while domestic violence specifically focuses on intimate partner violence.

What is an AVO, and when might I need one?

An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is a legal measure designed to ensure your safety by placing certain restrictions on the alleged abuser. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can advise you on when it’s appropriate to seek an AVO.

I'm concerned about my children's safety. How can domestic violence lawyers help?

Domestic violence lawyers can help in areas like completing the notice of risk, obtaining interim parenting orders, advising on relocation, implementing independent children’s lawyers, and gathering evidence for the Court. Talk to our team so we can provide the best legal advice and strategy for your case.

How can I manage my financial concerns during a domestic violence case?

We can help you with spousal maintenance claims, exclusive occupation orders, property contributions, interim property, and cost orders to ensure financial stability and rights.

I've been accused of domestic violence. Can your lawyers represent me?

Absolutely. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers has experience representing clients accused of domestic and family violence matters and will assist in responding to allegations, liaising with the police, and preparing evidence in defence.

What's the role of an independent children’s lawyer in a domestic violence case?

They represent the child’s best interests, ensuring their voice is heard, and their well-being is prioritised. At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, two of our highly experienced lawyers are also independent children’s lawyers. You can rest assured that your child will be taken care of with us on your side.

How can I protect my assets and property during a domestic violence dispute?

We can assist in property settlement, including spousal maintenance claims, exclusive occupation orders, and more, to safeguard your financial interests. Speak to our team today to ensure your most important assets are kept safe.

Find out how our domestic violence lawyers can help you

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