Examination of the child
5.45Section 68M deals with the making of an order that a child be made available for examination where there is a “child’s representative.” It is similar to the power to order a child assessment under section 45A of the Protection of Children and Juveniles Ordinance (Cap 213), though the exercise of the latter power is limited to the Director of Social Welfare.635 On application by the child’s representative, the court may order that the child be made available for psychological or psychiatric examination for the purpose of preparing a report to be used by the child’s representative in connection with the proceedings.636 The order may be directed to:
“(a)a parent of the child; or
(b)a person who has a residence order or a contact order in relation to the child; or
(c)a person who has a specific issues order in relation to the child under which the person is responsible for the child's long-term or day-to-day care, welfare and development.”637
5.46The subject of domestic violence is relevant to the issue of what happens to pre-existing orders for contact or access, when subsequent orders are made to restrain a spouse from communicating with the other spouse or the children. The different States of Australia have their own laws on domestic violence. By way of example, the Crimes (Family Violence) (Amendment) Act 1990 in Victoria allows a third party to apply for an intervention order on behalf of anyone under 17. The order extends to people who are in relationships but not living in the same household and to relatives of family members. The amendments enable 14 to 17 year olds to initiate intervention orders on their own behalf.
Informing court of relevant family violence orders
5.47The interaction between a contact order and a pre-existing family violence order is dealt with in the Family Law Reform Act 1995. Section 68J(1) provides that the court must be informed of this type of order before making a contact order. Failure to so inform the court does not, however, affect the validity of any order made by the court.638
635 See chapter 2.
636 Section 68M(2).
637 Section 68M(3).
638 Section 68J(3).