How Does a Domestic Violence Order Work?

Monday, February 10, 2014

In Queensland the Domestic Violence and Family Protection Act 1989 (Qld) (“the Act“) was created to provide protection for victims of abusive or violent relationships.

The Act is designed to protect both victims who reside with the other person and victims who seek an order which prohibits the other person from contacting the victim or going to their house or place of work.

This article discusses Domestic Violence Orders and how they are not limited to spousal or intimate relationships.

Domestic Violence Orders (“DVO“) are not limited to spousal or intimate relationships.  They are also available to a person experiencing domestic violence in a family or carer relationship.

If you are experiencing violence you can:

  • apply for a DVO,
  • apply for a urgent temporary order, or
  • make a complaint to the Police to press charges.

You can apply for a DVO at your local Magistrates Court.

Alternatively you may wish to speak with Police or a lawyer who can assist you with the application process.

Once you have lodged the application with the court, you will receive a date on which both you and the respondent will need to attend court.

When you go to court, the respondent can chose to consent to the DVO being made or disagree with the application.  If the respondent disagrees with the application, the court will provide you with a court date for a hearing.

If the respondent consents to the DVO or if after hearing the matter the court is satisfied that there has been an act or acts of domestic violence and there is likely to be future acts of domestic violence then a DVO will be imposed against the respondent.

A standard DVO requires the respondent to be of good behaviour towards the applicant and not commit acts of domestic violence.  If the court deem necessary they may impose special conditions, including a condition that the respondent not approach within a certain distance of the applicant/aggrieved.  A DVO will normally be made for two years, commencing from the date of court.

The aggrieved can apply during this period to have the order varied, revoked or extended.

It is a criminal offence for a respondent to breach a DVO.  This is an offence which carries a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment or a $4,000 fine for first time offenders.  The offender also risks having a conviction recorded on their criminal history.

How We Can Help

If you are experiencing domestic violence, have been served to attend court as a respondent or have been charged with breaching a DVO it may be of assistance to contact our expert lawyers.

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