A Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) is a court order designed to protect a person by placing limits on the behavior 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?

Family Violence is harmful behavior that is used to control, threaten, force or dominate a family member through fear. This includes:

  • Physical assault;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Property damage or interference with property;
  • Emotional or psychological abuse;
  • Threats;
  • Financial abuse; and
  • Coercing, controlling, dominating or terrorizing behaviors.

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 care giver, 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 an FVIO 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 application.

Conditions of an FVIO

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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

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.

Yes, the children can be listed as the affected family members of an intervention order.

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During this stressful time, I found Kristdel at The Family Lawyer to be particularly helpful. She demonstrated great empathy and responsiveness. She clearly outlined the options available to me, the pros and cons of each together with her final recommendation. As a result, I was confident that I was well informed and that she understood what was important to me. The issue was also resolved promptly and with a highly satisfactory outcome.


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