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Family violence orders

A family violence order protects a person from a family member who is using family violence.

If you have a family violence order, you must tell the family law courts about the order.

What are family violence orders?

Family violence orders are orders that protect persons from a family member who is using family violence.

Family violence orders include conditions to stop the alleged offender perpetrating violence against the alleged victim.

They can be final orders or interim orders.

Family violence orders are usually made under state or territory laws, and are called different things in different states and territories:

  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (NSW)
  • Intervention Orders (VIC & SA)
  • Domestic Violence Orders (QLD)
  • Violence Restraining Orders (WA)
  • Family Violence Order (TAS)
  • Domestic Violence Order (ACT & NT)

Under the Family Law Act 1975, all state and territory orders are described as family violence orders.

How to get a family violence order

Family violence orders are made under state or territory laws. How you get a family violence order, and what the order is called, will depend on where you live. Information on how to get a family violence order in your state or territory is available from the Family Violence Law Help website.

How does the court deal with family violence orders?

You must tell the family law court about any family violence orders that have been made. Family violence orders may affect orders made by the courts, especially parenting orders about a child spending time with a parent or another person. The court must make sure that the orders they make do not expose people to family violence.

Sometimes the family law courts may make parenting orders that override family violence orders. The court may do this to allow for the handover of children (when parents may have to come into contact), or to facilitate attendance at family counselling, Family Dispute Resolution, a family consultant meeting or another court event during family law proceedings.

Additionally, State and Territory courts can also make family violence orders that can vary parenting orders.

Fiona took out a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) over three years ago with the help of police when she left her ex-boyfriend. The DVO has now lapsed. When she applies to the Federal Circuit and Family Court for parenting orders for their daughter, she tells the court about the DVO in her affidavits, and puts the details into the required Notice of Risk form.

Related links

1800RESPECT Protection Orders

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Family Violence Orders

Family Violence Law Help

Next steps

Contact 1800RESPECT.

Talk to a family violence service near you.

Seek legal advice.

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