Victoria Legal Aid

How intervention orders work

What happens when a magistrate makes an interim or final family violence intervention order.

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There are two types of family violence intervention orders that a magistrate can make at court. They are:

  • an interim order – a short-term order made until a magistrate can hear all the evidence and make a final decision
  • a final order – a longer-term order made if a magistrate believes a person needs protecting.

Interim and final orders have conditions, like rules, that a respondent must obey.

If the respondent disobeys the conditions on an interim or final order, the police can charge them with a criminal offence. See Breaking an intervention order.

Interim orders

A magistrate can make an interim order if they believe a person is not safe and needs protecting immediately. It usually lasts until a magistrate decides whether to make a final order.

An interim order can be made without the respondent being at court or knowing about the order. It has the same effect as a final intervention order.

Final orders

A magistrate can make a final order after they have heard the evidence at a contested hearing. The magistrate must be satisfied that the respondent has used family violence and is likely to do so again.

A magistrate can also make a final order if:

  • both sides agree (consent) to the order being made
  • the respondent has not opposed the order, for example, they did not turn up to the hearing.

See What can happen at a family violence intervention order hearing.

Living with an intervention order

If the conditions of a family violence intervention order are difficult to live with, a protected family member or a respondent can apply to the court to change (vary) the conditions of the order. A respondent must first obtain permission (leave) from the court to apply to change the conditions.

Other support

Find out how you can get other support for violence, abuse and personal safety.

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 14 December 2023

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