Intervention Order Lawyers

Intervention Orders:

What are they and what affects can they have.

What is an Intervention Order?

An intervention order is a court order made by a Magistrate which is aimed to protect people others who are violent, abusive, or who make them feel unsafe. Intervention orders prohibit a person (the respondent) from behaving in a particular manner toward the protected party and will also often act as a restraint upon the respondent not to go within certain parameters of the protected party. In Victoria, there are two types of intervention orders that can be made:
  1. Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO); which are made to protect people from family violence at the hands of a family member or partner; and
  2. Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO); which are made to protect people from physical or mental harm caused by a non-family member.
Some common types of clauses contained in intervention orders are:
  • Limits on communication; the respondent cannot contact or communicate with the protected party by any means.
  • Damage to property; the respondent cannot intentionally damage the protected party’s property or threaten to do so.
  • Family violence; the respondent cannot commit family violence against the protected party.
  • Limits on contact; the respondent cannot approach the protected party, or go near their house, workplace, school, or childcare.

What Happens if an intervention order is breached?

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.

Interplay between intervention orders and Family Law Act Orders

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:

  • do anything that is permitted by the Family Law Actor a court order, a child protection order or a written agreement about child arrangements;
  • negotiate child arrangements by letter, email or text message; and/or
  • communicate with a protected party through a lawyer or a mediator.

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.

The next step

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.

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