Intervention Order Lawyers

Intervention Order Lawyer

Intervention Orders and
The Family Law Courts

Intervention Orders and the Family Law Courts

Family Violence Intervention Orders are often made in the context of a couple separating, either before, during or after family law proceedings have started. Intervention Order Law and Family Law are two separate areas of law, but there is often a lot of overlap between the two areas of law. At Aston Legal Group, our team of Intervention Order Lawyers specialise in both areas to ensure you only have one firm to deal with and your interests are protected in both areas.

Jurisdiction of the Courts

Intervention Orders are dealt with by the state – this is why you will often hear or see them referred to “AVOs” or “Apprehended Violence Orders” in New South Wales, “Restraining Orders” in Western Australia, “Protection Orders” in Queensland and other names elsewhere. In Victoria, there are two categories of Intervention Orders – Family Violence Intervention Orders (or FVIOs) and Personal Safety Intervention Orders (or PSIOs) depending on whether or not the people involved are family members. This means that Intervention Orders are dealt with by the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, and are governed by state legislation such as the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. Family Law, however, is governed by the Family Law Act 1975 and is largely the same Australia-wide. This means that Family Law is dealt with by federal courts, such as the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court.
This can lead to some complications, as a Magistrate making an Intervention Order and a Judge making a Family Law Order are in different courts, with different rules of evidence and different goals.

Interaction between Family Law and Intervention Orders

Sometimes people can have an Intervention Order and a Family Law Order that contradict each other. For example, an Intervention Order might stop you or your ex-partner from attending the house, but there is a Family Law Order that says that person is to collect the children from the house. So which one should you follow? There are a few things to consider. 

First, under Section 60CF of the Family Law Act, any existing or ongoing Family Violence Intervention Orders in relation to a child or a member of the child’s family must be disclosed to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court if you are in that court. The Family Violence Protection Act also has sections that deal with Family Law Orders. Under Section 80 of the Act, the Court must enquire with any party who has children as to whether there are any Family Law Orders in place. If there are Orders in place and the Intervention Order would be inconsistent with those Orders, the Magistrates’ Court can choose to suspend the existing Family Law Orders if appropriate. There are a range of factors that the Magistrate will consider, and it is a complex matter that you should seek legal advice in relation to.

Usually, if children are involved, a Magistrate will make an Intervention Order with what is known as the “family law exceptions.” These are special conditions on the Intervention Order that allows the Respondent to do certain things they are otherwise not allowed to do. Often, these exceptions allow the Respondent to follow existing Family Law Orders, to talk to the Protected Person through a lawyer or mediator, or to communicate in writing (such as via text message or email) about children’s arrangements. It is very important that this communication is done carefully as it can be very easy to breach an Intervention Order in these cases.

Family Law Financial Matters

The Magistrates’ Court can also make orders in relation to personal property as part of Intervention Order proceedings. In a case where these orders contradict Family Law Orders about that property, the Family Law Orders prevail.

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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