Intervention orders are considered civil matters, not criminal. However, if the terms of an intervention order are breached, the breach is considered to be a criminal offence and could be punishable by a fine or a term of imprisonment.
Even if the breach is accidental and minor in nature, it could still result in criminal charges. Accordingly, it is important that you are fully aware of the terms of the intervention order and that you understand the potential consequences of breaching them.
If an allegation has been that a child has been exposed to family violence, a Magistrate may decide to include the child on the intervention order as a protected party if they believe it is necessary to do so in order to keep the child safe.
However, an FVIO can also include clauses that provide for communication and contact between the respondent and the protected party in some circumstances. For example, some clauses may allow for the respondent to:
While these conditions allow for people who have children as well as an FVIO in place to continue to negotiate and fulfil parenting arrangements, it should also be noted that the making of an FVIO after the date of a Family Law Order or a written agreement about child arrangements may work to suspend the respondent’s time with the child until such time that the FVIO is varied or withdrawn, or until a further Order is made by the Family Law Courts.
Such a situation can be challenging and overwhelming for parents and urgent advice should be sought to discuss your options.
If you would like advice in relation to intervention orders, contact us on (03) 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.