Family violence orders

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If you have a family violence order, you must tell the Court about the order.

A family violence order is an order (including an interlocutory order) made under a state or territory law to protect a person from family violence. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Court) does not make family violence orders.

Family violence orders may affect orders made by the Court, especially parenting orders about a child spending time with a parent or another person.

Family violence orders are called different things in different states, for example:

Although the names of family violence orders differ in each state and territory, the processes are similar, and family violence orders made in any state and territory can be registered for enforcement in any other state or territory if needed.

Individuals who are experiencing violence in a domestic or family relationship can apply for a family violence order. Depending on the state or territory the order is being applied in, the relationships can include:

  • an intimate partner or intimate personal relationship
  • a family relationship, or
  • an informal care relationship.

How can I apply for a family violence order?

The Court does not make family violence orders. How you get a family violence order, and what the order is called, depends on where you live.

For information on how to get a family violence order, click on your state or territory:

For further information see Family violence orders. See Legal advice for information on legal assistance available for family law disputes from government-funded organisations.

Related legislation

What if a parenting order is made that is inconsistent with a family violence order?

The Court has federal jurisdiction and is responsible for making parenting orders, whereas family violence orders are general made by the prescribed law of a state or territory.

All decisions of the Commonwealth override decisions made by states or territories, therefore parenting orders from the Court will supersede inconsistent obligations of a state or territory based family violence order.

Under the Family Law Act 1975, all state and territory orders are described as family violence orders. Such orders may forbid one parent from coming within a set distance of another parent or stalking or harassing them.

Sometimes the Court will make an order or an injunction that is inconsistent with the state or territory order (see sections 68P and 68Q of the Family Law Act 1975).

Family violence orders can allow parties to come into contact with each other only for:

  • delivering or collecting a child who is spending time with a parent or other person (as provided by the Family Law Act), or
  • enabling parties to attend family counselling, family dispute resolution, a court children’s services meeting or other court events during family law proceedings.

If a parenting order states a child is to be collected from the protected person of a family violence order, and the family violence order states the person who the order applies to is to not be within 100 metres of the residence, there will not be a breach of the family violence order as the purpose of attending the residence is to comply with the parenting order.

However, if the person who the order applies to attends the residence of the protected person for reasons other than compliance of the parenting order, they will be in breach of the family violence order. The same principle applies with making contact or communicating with the other party for purposes other than the child(ren) the parenting order applies to.

If your parenting order and family violence order are inconsistent, you must comply with whichever order was made later (see sections 68P and 68Q of the Family Law Act 1975)

For further information on Parenting orders see Children.