February 1, 2023

Navigating Intervention Orders

Asset Division, Rise Family Lawyers, Family Lawyers Ringwood, ringwood family lawyers

The Intervention Order (IVO) system in Victoria is designed to maximise the safety of those who have experienced family violence, prevent and reduce family violence and to promote accountability of perpetrators of family violence.

The current climate of family violence in society means that the Police, Courts and those involved in the law and law enforcement often err on the side of caution. Family Violence is unfortunately an all too common plight on society.

However, despite its very much needed and noble aims, the Intervention Order system is wrought with pitfalls and unfortunately, can often be used as a means to oppress another, rather than for protection.

This article aims to provide guidance in navigating Intervention Orders. Click here to find out how our experienced family lawyers can assist you in Intervention Order / family violence matters.

Those in need of protection navigating Intervention Orders


If you believe that the safety of you or your children is at immediate risk from a partner/former partner/family member, you should contact the Police on 000 immediately. The Police will assist you to make sure that you are safe.

The Police will also speak to you about your situation and assess whether you are in need of immediate legal protection.

If they deem that you need protection, the Police will usually make an Application for an Intervention Order on your behalf against the perpetrator (the Respondent) and issue a Family Violence Safety Notice.

The Family Violence Safety Notice, while on foot, has the same effect as an Intervention Order – it prohibits the perpetrator from committing certain actions. It may be a “limited condition” Family Violence Safety Notice, which means that the perpetrator cannot commit family violence or destroy the property of the people protected by Family Violence Safety Notice.

Alternatively, the Police may issue a Family Violence Safety Notice with full conditions, which means that the perpetrator cannot, amongst other things, contact or communicate with, be in the vicinity of, or go within (usually 200 metres) of where the protected persons live, work or go to school. The Family Violence Safety Notice stays in force until the matter is heard in Court.

If the Police do not believe that you are at risk, they are unlikely to apply for an Intervention Order on your behalf. If you require the protection of an Intervention Order, you would need to make an application yourself. This can be done at the Registry of your local Magistrates’ Court. We are able to assist clients in applying for Intervention Orders and walking through the Court process with them.

Respondents navigating Intervention Orders


If the Police or someone has applied for an Intervention Order, or the Police has issued a Family Violence Safety Notice against you, you must first ensure that you comply with the conditions of the Notice/Order. A breach of the conditions, however small, is a criminal offence. Consider the following examples of a few clients who were charged with breaches of an Intervention Order:

  • A condition of the Intervention Order prohibited the client from going within 200 metres of where the Protection Person lived. The client’s regular and quickest way to work was via a freeway, which at one point, was less than 200 metres from the Protection Person’s home.
  • A condition of the Intervention Order prohibited the client from publishing anything about the Protected Person online. The client posted a photo of themselves with their children on Facebook.
  • A condition of the Intervention Order prohibited the client from communicating with the Protected Person unless regarding parenting arrangements only. In one text message about parenting arrangements, the client asked about closing a shared bank account.
It is therefore imperative that you are very careful not to breach the conditions of an Intervention Order. It is still a breach even if the Protected Person consents to the action that resulted in the breach.


If you are found guilty of a breach of Intervention Order, this could affect your employment and international travel.

It is also important to understand that not just criminal offences, but also Intervention Orders and Intervention Order Applications can also influence any parenting disputes you may have with your partner/ex-partner.

There are various options available to you when deciding how to respond to an Intervention Order Application. Here are some of the options that you could consider:

  1. Propose an Undertaking, which is a promise to the Court not to breach any conditions of the Undertaking (which are often similar to the conditions of an Intervention Order ). If you breach an Undertaking, then the Applicant has the right to reinstate their Intervention Order Application with the Court.
  1. Consent to the making of a Final Intervention Order  without admitting to the allegations. Usually, an Intervention Order  is made for a definite period of time, such as 1 or 2 years. When consenting to the making of an Intervention Order , you should consider both the length of the Intervention Order  and the conditions that will be imposed. These can potentially be negotiated for example, to only include conditions that you are unable to commit family violence and intentionally destroy property.
  1. Contest the Intervention Order . If you decide to contest the Intervention Order , then the matter will likely proceed through the stages as detailed below.

Stages of an Intervention Order Application


There are various stages to an Intervention Order Application, which usually include:

  1. Mention Hearing – this is the first hearing where you will have the chance to negotiate with the Applicant. If you consent to the making of a Final Intervention Order, the Magistrate will make the Final Intervention Order at this hearing. If you decide to contest the application, the Magistrate will decide whether to make an Interim Intervention Order and how to progress the matter forward.
  1. Directions Hearing – if you contest the Order, then the matter is likely to be listed for a Directions Hearing. At this hearing, the Magistrate will discuss with the parties details of the Contested Hearing, for example, how long they expect the Contested Hearing will take, how many witnesses they each intend to call, etc.
  1. Contested Hearing – at this hearing, the parties will be cross-examined on their evidence, will make submissions to the Magistrate about their case and the Magistrate will make a decision about whether or not to make a Final Intervention Order.

Unless the Protected Person seeks to have the Police withdraw their application or unless the Respondent has positive and substantive evidence that no family violence occurred, the Police are often known to simply proceed with their Application. Even if the Protected Person does not want the Police to proceed with the Application, the Police may decide to do so.

Navigating Intervention Orders is fraught with potential pitfalls and so it is important to obtain legal advice if you are going through this. At Oikos Family Lawy, we have extensive experience with Intervention Orders / Family Violence, including its interaction with parenting and separation matters. Contact one of our expert family law and family violence lawyers in Mount Waverley and Ringwood for an obligation-free chat on 0421 397 316 or jlok@oikosfamilylaw.com.au.

Otherwise, click here to find out how our experienced family lawyers can assist you in Intervention Order / family violence matters.

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