Family violence orders to protect children

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Family violence orders to protect children

If you fear for your children’s safety, you can include them on your intervention order application application as ‘additional affected family members’.

A magistrate can include a child on the order, even if the applicant does not ask for this to happen.

Children who are exposed to family violence are particularly vulnerable. Family violence can have a serious impact on a child's physical, psychological and emotional wellbeing.

If you are applying for an intervention order, you will be asked if you believe that your safety or the safety of your children is threatened by the respondent.

You can ask the magistrate to stop the respondent:

  • living with the children
  • spending time with the children
  • communicating with the children.

A child can apply for an intervention order if they are 14 or older and the court agrees. In these cases the matter is usually heard in the Children’s Court. Ask the court registrar about this.

A magistrate must make decisions to protect children

A magistrate must consider if there are children who have seen or heard the family violence. The magistrate will ask the affected family member or respondent if they have any children and how the family violence has affected them.

A magistrate can decide to include a child on the final order, even if the applicant did not name them in the application. The child’s safety is the most important consideration.

If the magistrate decides that the child needs to be protected, the intervention order may say that the respondent cannot have contact with the child.

Intervention orders and parenting orders

Intervention orders deal with family violence. They are separate from parenting orders.

When a magistrate makes an intervention order to protect a child, they must check if there are parenting orders in place. A magistrate can decide to suspend, revive (restore), vary (change) or discharge (cancel) a parenting order if certain conditions are met.

The relationship between intervention orders and parenting orders is complex. An intervention order does not stop the respondent applying for a parenting order to see the children. It is important to get legal advice.

Get help

Find out how you can get help with family violence.

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