As Family Violence continues to be prevalent in family law matters, it is imperative that family lawyers have a thorough knowledge of intervention orders from both the viewpoint of the Applicant and Respondent. Our family lawyers have a strong background in criminal law and regularly appear on behalf of both Applicants, Respondents and Affected Family Members in Intervention Order matters.
With recent changes to Family Violence legislation, it is more important than ever to receive the correct advice about your Intervention Order matter. 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 and Children’s Courts of Victoria.
Our representation of our client’s include:
Family violence is not limited to physical or sexual abuse. Emotional abuse of any kind, and threatening, controlling, or coercive behaviour are all forms that family violence may be presented as. 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 a result of same. You should know that you don’t have to continue to be a victim of family violence as there are a number of services that will assist you.
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 can 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 best make 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 Full 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.
Firstly, under no circumstances should you 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.
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:
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:
This is not an exhaustive list, however, it provides a brief overview as to some of the conditions imposed by an Intervention Order.
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.