What is a Family Violence Intervention Order?
A Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) is a court order designed to protect a person by placing limits on the behaviour of another person. An individual or the police (on someone’s behalf) can make an application to the Magistrates’ Court for this against a family member.
What is family violence?
Attempting to resolve your matter prior to applying for a parenting order is important as the court process is expensive, emotional and invasive.
- To encourage early and full disclosure through the exchange of information and documents about the prospective case.
- To help people resolve their differences quickly and fairly, and to avoid legal action where possible. This will limit costs and hopefully avoid the need to start a court case.
- Where an agreement cannot be reached out of court, to help parties identify the real issues in dispute. This should help reduce the time involved and the cost of the case.
- To encourage parties to seek only those orders that are realistic and reasonable on the evidence.
If a child is around family violence in any way, they may be protected by a family violence intervention order. This may include if a child
- Hears the abuse of a family member
- Sees damaged property
- Helps an abused family member
Who can be protected by an FVIO?
A family member who may be protected by a FVIO includes:
- people who share an intimate personal relationship, whether there is a sexual relationship or not—for example, married, de facto or domestic partners
- parents and children, including children of an intimate partner
- relatives by birth, marriage or adoption
- people you treat like a family member—for example, a caregiver, guardian, or person who is related to you within the family structure of your culture.
Key terms used
- Affected family member/affected person: The protected person when the order is made, this means they cannot have family violence committed against them by the respondent.
- Applicant: The person who applies for an order on their own behalf or on the behalf of another person
- Respondent: The person who the order is against is called the respondent.
How is an application for a Family Violence Intervention order made?
A FVIO is a legally enforceable document that provides a person and other affected family members protection. The order imposes conditions to stop the respondent from using family violence against the protected person.
An application can be made by an individual by applying with the Magistrates Court. Alternatively, if the police are called to attend an incident where there is imminent danger of family violence, the police may make an application for an FVIO on the persons behalf.
At the Family Lawyer, we can also assist you in assessing your circumstances and whether you would benefit from an FVIO and we can assist you in making this
Conditions of an Intervention Order
If the court are satisfied there has been family violence and a risk of this occurring again, the court will grant the order an impose conditions on the conduct of the respondent. If you are the respondent, it is important you read the conditions of the order carefully to ensure you do not breach the order. At The Family Lawyer, we can advise you on the conditions to ensure you do not breach the order.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between an Interim and final intervention order?
An interim order is made for a short period by the Magistrate until they can hear more evidence at a final hearing. A final order is made after the Magistrate hears all the evidence of the parties and makes the order for a set period of time.
Alternatively, the Magistrate may decide not to make a final order if they have insufficient evidence and do not consider there to be a risk of family violence.
“How long does the Order last? ”
The Magistrate has the power to decide the length of time the order will last. Before an order expires, the court can also extend the order for a longer period of time.
“Can an order be changed? ”
Yes, an order can be changed. Either party can apply to the court to have the order ‘varied’ if the circumstances permit this. The court will consider this request and reject or grant the variation if they consider it appropriate. An application can also be revoked or cancelled if requested by the applicant and/or protected person
“What happens if you breach and FVIO “
If the respondent does not comply with the conditions of the FVIO, this is considered a breach and they may be charged with a criminal offence.
“Can I get an FVIO on behalf of my children? “
Yes, the children can be listed as the affected family members of an intervention order.