Domestic Violence Protection Orders

Family Violence Orders

Family Violence Orders (also known as Protection Orders) are made upon application to the Magistrates Court by a person affected by Family Violence. They are designed to protect people who are in a ‘relevant’ relationship with an alleged abuser.

Domestic violence is defined under the Domestic Violence and Family Violence Act 2012 as when someone is:

  • Physically or sexually abusive;
  • Emotionally or psychologically abusive;
  • Financially or economically abusive;
  • Threatening;
  • Coercive; and/or
  • Controlling or dominating

To be able to apply for a DVO you must satisfy a court that you are in a ‘relevant’ relationship with the abuser. A relevant relationship is defined as an intimate personal relationship (such as de facto, spouse, engaged or married), a family relationship (such as those who are related by blood or marriage) or an informal care relationship (such as when one person is dependent on the other person to look after them)  

If your matter is urgent and you believe you need immediate protection please call our office immediately.

Spousal and De facto Maintenance

Spouse maintenance is financial support paid by a person to their former spouse or partner where that spouse or partner is unable to adequately support themselves. It is separate from child support or child maintenance. 

The court considers a number of factors in determining a spouse maintenance application, including;

  • the needs of the person applying,
  • the capacity of the former partner or spouse to pay,
  • the ability of the person applying to work,
  • the care of the children under 18 years,
  • the age and health of the parties.

Spousal maintenance can be a periodic payment; for example a weekly payment, a lump sum payment, or payment of specific expenses.

There are time limits on applying for spouse maintenance. If the parties were married an application must be made within 12 months of the date of divorce. If the parties were in a de facto relationship the application must be made within 2 years of the date of separation. The time to apply may be extended by the court, but this requires special permission and may not be granted.