Domestic Violence Lawyer Sunshine Coast

Expert Domestic Violence Lawyers

Domestic Violence Orders – DVO’s

Have you been served with an Application for a Protection Order?

The actions you take in the coming days could impact your life and that of your children for years to come.

An Application for a Protection Order is the legal term for an Application for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO). It can be made against you by a spouse, family member or by a police officer (on behalf of a family member). The person being protected by the DVO is called the aggrieved and the person who is being served with the application is the respondent.

If you ignore the Application it will be heard in your absence and what the police or the other party have asked for will be put into an Order that could last up to 5 years.

What does a ‘Domestic Violence Order’ mean for you?

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) can have a significant effect on your life. If a DVO is put against you, it is likely to put limits on your behaviour. It can stop you from going home and force you to move out, and it can dictate where you can and cannot go.  This can happen from the very first Court appearance.

Most importantly, a Protection Order (DVO) could make certain actions you take criminal acts. If that happens then you could be charged by the police for doing relatively normal things, like making a phone call or going to your house.

Orders can be made against current or former partners but can also be made against other people in your family such as parents, children, siblings, or even informal carers.

Children of the aggrieved and other family members can be named in an order and protected in the same way as the aggrieved, even if they have not directly suffered acts of domestic violence but have been exposed to acts of domestic violence.

You don’t have to be physically violent to your partner to have a DVO made against you. The definition of domestic violence in the legislation includes not only physical or verbal abuse but also controlling behaviour such as controlling finances, or harassment such as sending unwanted text messages or Facebook posts.

Getting the right advice is critical to getting a good outcome and knowing where you stand in the proceedings.

Important things to remember if a DVO is made against you.

Having a DVO put against you is a big deal. It can force you to move out of your house, stop you from having any contact with your partner, and stop you from being able to go near your partner, amongst other things.

You need legal advice as soon as you have been served with an Application for a Protection Order or been given a Police Protection Notice. These are very real documents that can have dire consequences on your life and freedom.

You must go to Court if you want to be heard. People are often told that they do not have to go to Court. While you won’t get in trouble for not going to Court you will also not be heard on what the DVO means to you and what your side of the story is. The matter will be heard without you and a final decision will be made without you, which will be a DVO.

Do not send a nasty texts or emails or make a nasty phone call after you have been served. Often you won’t be allowed to contact the other person and by sending the nasty communication you may be breaching the Temporary Protection Order, which will be a criminal offence. You may also be giving the other party ammunition against you.

Do not post to social media or talk to your friends about the DVO. DVO proceedings are confidential. It is an offence to publish or communicate certain information about the proceedings and you may be liable for criminal prosecution if you do. Even if your posts and discussions aren’t considered criminal offences you may be giving the other party evidence against you.

If you have been forced to move out of the family home you won’t be allowed to move back in, even if the aggrieved agrees and you have reconciled. You must get the Court’s permission otherwise it is likely to be a breach of the DVO and a criminal offence.


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