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A temporary protection order aims to provide you with protection from domestic violence until your application is decided by the court. Temporary protection orders are granted if you are in a relationship covered by the law (see pages six and seven) and domestic violence has been committed.
If the respondent doesn’t know you are applying for a domestic violence order, the court can still make a temporary protection order. To make a temporary protection order, the court must be satisfied the order is necessary or desirable to protect you, your children or the other people named in your application.
Final protection orders usually continue for five years. They can be made:
Domestic violence orders automatically say that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against you, your children and any other people named on your order.
You can also ask for other conditions on the domestic violence order. The court has to consider your safety and your children’s safety when deciding whether to add other conditions to the order.
Other conditions that could be included in a domestic violence order include:
In some circumstances it is possible for the court to stop the respondent coming back to where you live, or to remove them from where you live, even if you have both lived there together. This is known as an ‘ouster’ condition. If the court makes an ouster condition it has to also consider allowing the respondent to return to the residence to get their belongings. This process can be supervised by the police.
If a court makes or varies a domestic violence order it can also make an intervention order requiring the respondent to attend an intervention program, perpetrators’ program or counselling to address their behaviour. This order can only be made if the respondent is present in the court, agrees to the intervention order being made or varied, and agrees to comply. You should get legal advice about this type of order.
Consent orders can be made if the respondent agrees to your application for a domestic violence order (or agrees to vary an existing domestic violence order). The respondent does not have to admit to the facts you’ve included in the application, or agree with your side of the story, for the court to make consent orders - this is known as “consent without admission”. The court will take into account your safety, your children’s safety and the safety of anyone else named in your application when considering whether to make consent orders.
This may not apply if the respondent is under 18 years of age. You should get legal advice if this applies to your situation.
If a police officer is acting on your behalf, the court can only make a consent order if it is sure that you consent to the order being made.
The magistrate must consider any family law orders you have before deciding to make or vary a domestic violence order. If you have a family law order about your children, or if you have proceedings in the family law courts about your children, you must:
A magistrate must consider changing your family law order if:
For example, if your family law order allows the respondent to come to your home to collect your children and these visits lead to verbal abuse, threats or any other act of domestic violence, the magistrate can vary the family law order to make the collection point away from where you live. The magistrate can also discharge or suspend your existing parenting order if they are satisfied it would be unsafe for you or for the children to continue spending time with the respondent.
If you have a domestic violence order and you later apply to a family law court for a parenting order or an order about your children, you must tell the court about the domestic violence order.
If there are any differences between a parenting order and a domestic violence order, the parenting order overrides the domestic violence order.
Yes. Sometimes a court can make a domestic violence order against someone even though the aggrieved has not applied for one. This can happen if a court convicts a person of an offence involving domestic violence. To make an order, the court would have to be satisfied that the people involved were in a relationship covered by the law (see Who does the law protect?), that domestic violence had occurred and that an order is necessary or desirable to protect the aggrieved.
If there was already a domestic violence order in place when the offence was committed, the court could vary that order including by changing its length to protect the aggrieved.
In both situations, the court still has to allow the people involved to say what they think about the order being made.
The Childrens Court can make a domestic violence order if it is hearing an application for a child protection order. The court can make a domestic violence order against a parent or it could vary a domestic violence order already in place.
The Childrens Court can make a domestic violence order on its own motion, or because one of the parties to the child protection application has made a domestic violence order application. Again, the court has to allow the people affected by the order to say what they think about the order being made.