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Family Violence Restraining Orders - what might happen and how do I deal with it - Part 1

Family Violence Restraining Orders - what might happen and how do I deal with it - Part 1

The Scenarios….what might happen and how do I deal with it?

There is an overlap with Family Law and Criminal Law in the form of Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO”). At Butlers, we are able to assist you with obtaining an FVRO or can represent you, if you are the person receiving the FVRO. Over the next four blogs we outline some of the common scenarios faced by people who obtain or receive an FVRO.

Part 1 - Criminal Law and Family Law Intersection

The neighbour next door is divorcing his wife.

Following the divorce, the wife is now saying that her former husband, your former neighbour, subjected her to domestic violence during the relationship.

Your previous neighbour, the husband, is saying that he was never violent towards her. Despite this, your previous neighbour is no longer able to set foot in the house which he jointly owns with his former wife, without being charged with a criminal offence.

Does this story sound familiar?

Your former neighbour is in this situation because his former wife would have either applied for, and been granted, an interim FVRO, or the Police would have issued a Police Order protecting the wife.

A Family Violence Order is defined as an Order made under a prescribed law of State or Territory, to protect a person from family violence.

Due to the rules of evidence being relaxed in the Restraining Order process, an Applicant can obtain a Family Violence Restraining Order based on fabricated or exaggerated allegations against the Respondent.

With the application of the new amendments to the Restraining Orders Act, there is the potential for Restraining Orders to be abused as tactical devices to aid Applicants with their family law dispute.

In July 2017, changes were made to the Restraining Orders Act 1997, introducing the Family Violence Restraining Order, for people to use in a family relationship situation.

For our full blog on the changes to Restraining Orders Act, click here.

The story above illustrates how an FVRO can be used to evict a Respondent from their home, with little notice.

Another example how the FVRO process can be misused would be where a primary carer of the children applies for, and obtains, an FVRO that extends to the children, limiting or excluding the other parent’s contact with them.

This blog is the first of four, regarding the use of FVRO’s in family law disputes.

Butlers have experienced lawyers who specialise in the area of FVRO’s. The following blogs will go into greater detail of how we can assist you, if you find yourself involved in this area of Family Law. As emphasised in these blogs, time is of the essence when dealing with FVRO’s, on whichever side of the fence you find yourself, because being proactive can reduce any negative effects that can be experienced in these situations. Please feel free to call us at any time to make an appointment with our understanding Team.


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Friday, 12 August 2022