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With recent changes to Family Violence legislation, it is more important than ever to ensure that you receive accurate advice about Applying for an Intervention Order. These matters can have a significant impact upon family law proceedings as well as access to a former matrimonial home or to children of the relationship. We rely upon our experience in this area of law to ensure that our clients are properly advised and represented in both the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria (all courts across Victoria) and the Children’s Courts of Victoria. We carefully consider each individual case and its unique circumstances in providing you with informed advice.
Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO)
Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO)
Our representation of our clients include:
- Providing advice in relation to Intervention Orders;
- Applying for Intervention Orders;
- Applying for Interim Intervention Orders;
- Appearing at mentions and direction hearings;
- Applying to vary existing Intervention Orders; and
- Appearing at contested hearings.
Any person can make an application for an Intervention Order on their own, however given that it is a stressful and difficult time, our lawyers are available to assist you in doing so. It is important that your application is made correctly to ensure you have the best possibility of obtaining an Intervention Order. We are experienced in dealing with Intervention Orders and can advise you as to how your application should be made to ensure its success. With your instructions, we can draft the necessary application and attend the Magistrates’ Court with you to make an application for an Interim or Final Intervention Order.
important things you should know
Information about intervention orders
‘Family violence’ is not limited to physical or sexual abuse. Emotional abuse of any kind, as well as threatening, controlling, or coercive behaviour are all forms of family violence. Family violence also includes any behaviour by a person that causes a child to hear or witness or otherwise be exposed to the effects of family violence. Not all Intervention Orders are taken out due to family violence, but with family violence affecting one in five Victorian women, a large proportion of Intervention Orders are the result of family violence. Victims of family violence should be reassured that they do not have to continue being victim to family violence and that there are a number of support services who can assist.
If you are served with an Intervention Order, it is critical that you do not contact the Protected Person listed on the application without first obtaining legal advice. When you are served with an Intervention Order, usually a member of the Victoria Police will explain the conditions of the order to you. However, the Police are often very busy and only have limited time to explain the order to you. Additionally, most people are surprised to be served with an Intervention Order, and may not fully understand the conditions of the order the first time they see it. We strongly advise that you immediately make an appointment to speak with a lawyer to understand the conditions of the order. Sometimes, the conditions are quite simple. Usually, however, there are several conditions, exceptions, and sometimes other orders already in place that make understanding the order very difficult. For example, the Intervention Order can sometimes suspend Family Court orders. Every Intervention Order is unique, and the Court can include specific clauses depending on the circumstances. You should consider obtaining legal advice as soon as possible; our lawyers are on call to speak to you about your Intervention Order matter.
Recently, the general Intervention Order conditions in Victoria have changed. The new changes are aimed to make Intervention Orders easier to understand for both Applicants and Respondents. The Court can choose some or all of the conditions below, and can also include specific conditions sought by the applicant depending on the circumstances:
- All Intervention Orders include a condition not to commit family violence;
- That the Respondent does not get others to do what the Order does not let them do themselves;
- That the Respondent has no contact or limited contact with the Protected Persons;
- That the Respondent does not stalk the Protected Persons;
- That the Respondent abide by certain conditions regarding arrangements and time spent with their children; and
- That the Respondent hand in any firearms or weapons.
This is not an exhaustive list, however, it provides a brief overview as to some of the conditions imposed by an Intervention Order.
To make an application for an Intervention Order you should first contact your nearest court and make an appointment to see a registrar. The registrar will talk to you about your application and will give you information about legal representation. In certain circumstances, a member of Victoria Police may make an application on your behalf. Children can also be named as Protected Persons on an Intervention Order. A Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) can be taken out by yourself or by a Child Protection practitioner on behalf of your child. In these circumstances, the Respondent would likely no longer be able to stay in the child’s home to provide a safer home environment for your child.
Often, the first question someone will ask their lawyer after being served with an Intervention Order is “how did this person obtain an order without me getting to tell my side of the story?” This is because the court process for obtaining an Intervention Order means that the Respondent (i.e. the person who has been served with the Intervention Order) does not need to attend, or even know about, the application at first. The general stages of an Intervention Order are: Application for an Intervention Order; Mention; Consent or Contest of an Order; Directions Hearing; Contested Hearing.
An Intervention Order is not a criminal office, and does not give you a ‘criminal record.’ It does not appear on most police checks, and will usually not impact someone’s work or travel. However, if the Respondent breaches the Intervention Order, they may be charged with a criminal offence. If the Respondent breaches an Intervention Order, they can be imprisoned for up to 2 years. If the Respondent continues to breach an Intervention Order, they can be imprisoned for up to 5 years. If you are charged with a breach of an Intervention Order or are contacted by Victoria Police in relation to a breach of an Intervention Order, you should contact us immediately to receive advice and have us attend the Police Station if you are arrested.
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