Alongside the Family Law system and Family Court orders lives Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIOs) which are done through the various Magistrates’ Courts.
FVIOs are a means by which protection can be sought quickly for an individual and their family, with minimal or no evidence other than an allegation.
Unfortunately, this means that the orders are also open to abuse, and can be used as a means of unreasonably preventing contact between parents and children.
The definition of Family Violence includes verbal, emotional and economic abuse, so under certain circumstances acts such as implementing a family budget or raising your voice can be found to be family violence, and if done in front of your children, can be found to be family violence towards them.
If a FVIO is being used to prevent you from spending time with your children then we usually recommend that you initiate Family Court proceedings immediately, whether you consent to the FVIO or not.
A Family Court order overrides a FVIO. However, if there are already Family Law orders when the FVIO is applied for, the Magistrates Court has the power when granting an FVIO to override a family law order, until the FVIO matter is finalised or until a new Family Court order overrides the FVIO. If this happens, you should seek to have the FVIO varied immediately.
Once an Interim Order of a FVIO is in place, a hearing may not be heard for a year.
It is critical that you get specific advice tailored to your circumstances including the pros and cons or whether or not you should consent to an FVIO.