Victoria Legal Aid

Changing a family violence intervention order

A protected family member or a respondent can apply to the court to change the conditions of a family violence intervention order if the conditions are difficult to live with.

Either the protected person or the respondent can go back to court and ask the magistrate to ‘vary’ (change) the conditions of the order if:

  • the conditions are very difficult to live with, or
  • there has been a significant change in circumstances.

If the protected person wants to change the order

You may want to change the order if you:

  • want to have contact with the respondent, for example, you feel it’s safe to see or speak to the respondent
  • are finding the conditions of the order difficult to manage
  • need more protection and want to include more conditions on your order. For example, if you don’t feel safe living with the respondent anymore and want them to move out.

If the police applied for an order for your protection, contact them if you wish to change the order.

If the respondent wants to change the order

You can apply to change or ‘vary’ the order if:

  • there has been a change in circumstances since the intervention order was made
  • the change is significant enough to justify a change in the order.

A change of circumstance might be if you get a job in an office block next door to the protected person’s workplace. You could ask the magistrate to change a condition that stopped you coming within 200 metres of the workplace so you can go to work without breaking the order.

You will need to get permission from the court before you can make an application to change the order. This is called 'asking for leave'. Permission will only be granted if you can show that:

How to change an order

If you want to change the order, contact the court registrar. The registrar will help you fill in the court forms and organise for the other person to be notified. You will have to come back to court on another day to see a magistrate, who will make the decision.

It is a good idea to write down the changes you want. Give a copy to the registrar before the hearing date so that they can put it on the file for the magistrate to see.

When making a decision to change an intervention order, the magistrate will consider:

  • why you want to change the order
  • how the changes affect the safety of the person protected by the intervention order, especially if the protected person is a child
  • what the protected person thinks about the application
  • if the protected person has a lawyer
  • the views of the protected person’s parent or guardian, if the protected person is a child
  • the views of the police if the police made the application.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

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Reviewed 12 April 2022

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