On March 18 of 2013, the BC Family Law Act came into effect for the Province, and has since had a number of different impactson domestic assault charges, so it is worth being aware of what may have changed.
Definition of domestic violence
Domestic assault charges are brought against an individual when there have been threats or allegations of violence between family members, and the police have sought to bring charges against an individual.
The definition of domestic violence can cover any form of abusive or violent behaviour which occurs between two people who have been an intimate relationship. The most common examples of this are within marriage and immediate family.
Domestic assault charges not only happen during the relationship, but they can also occur after the relationship has ended, which is not entirely uncommon.
While some domestic violence is clear-cut,like physical violence against an individual, mental abuse,such ascontrolling, or intimidating behaviour, name-calling and isolation can be less obvious.
Seeking a lawyer’s advice
If you are implicated in domestic assault charges then understanding the impending process is integral to knowing how best to act, so contacting a lawyer as soon as possible should be at the top of your agenda.
If you have previously been involved in domestic assault charges, then it may be useful to note the following information on the Family Law Act, which came into effect in 2013.
Question: Have existing court orders, or agreements changed?
If you have an existing agreement, or court order, then this would not have changed due to the Family Law Act. You are also not able to re-apply to change the order or agreement solely because of the new law that was brought in.
Question: Are restraining orders taken out before the new Family Law Act came into effect still valid?
You will remain protected with any existing restraining order under the new Family Law Act, but depending on the circumstance, it may be that applying for a new family law protection order will provide better protection under the new Family Law Act.
There are a number of other questions that you may have stemming from the Family Law Act of 2013 relating to domestic assault charges, in which case it is best to read up on the act itself and consult a lawyer for further assistance.