Work is underway to develop a new app to help children navigate the court process and support their well-being during the separation of their parents.
Children's charity To Be Loved is working with partners including Melbourne University to develop the app.
To Be Loved director Darren Mort said he had noticed a lack of resources to assist children and give them a voice during the litigation process while working as a family law barrister and with the Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce.
We are hoping to give children a voice, to send a message it is not their fault and they are not alone.Darren Mort, To Be Loved
"There is nothing in the Family Court for children to assist them to navigate the court process and to give them information about judges, family consultants, independent children's lawyers and the system," he said.
"There is also nothing to help children in terms of their well-being."
Mr Mort said divorce and separation rates were at 50 per cent, while 48 per cent of those relationships have children and of those, 65 per cent of those children were exposed to family violence.
"We are hoping to give children a voice, to send a message it is not their fault and they are not alone," he said.
"Knowledge is king for children and too often we undermine their resilience. These days with the internet and social media, children are crying out for information. They absorb it and use it more sensibly than a lot of us parents give us credit for."
Federation University family violence researcher Associate Professor Elisa Zentveld said while there were avenues for children to express their opinions and concerns in court through an independent children's lawyer or family consultant, children could not go into the courtroom.
"Some children such as older teenagers may feel that their voices are not being heard directly or fairly - especially when outcomes do not meet their perceived needs," she said.
"There remains an adult gate-keeping of the experiences reported by children."
Dr Zentveld said few orders were made at court where a parent loses all access to their children despite the prevalence of family violence - even if there was strong evidence for child abuse or family violence.
"Research in the field highlights that children's voiced experiences of their abusive parent is marginalised in comparison to the preservation of promoting relationships with the abusive parent," she said.
"The research reveals a dominant presumption of benefits of contact with an abusive parent tends to overshadow the safeguarding concerns."
Research shows family violence can affect a child's behaviour, development, relationships, emotions, learning, self-esteem and physical health and it is common for children to experience trauma after separation.
Visit tobeloved.org.au/ for more information about the organisation developing the app.
To Be Loved is seeking funding to support the development of the app this year.