• McKenzie Friend Australia

Here's How to Get a DVO Against Your Ex

Every family experiences conflict, but when violence or the threat of violence is used against you or your children, it's time to get a protection order (DVO). Regardless of the situation, violence should never be used as leverage to control circumstances or another person. When this happens, a protection order can serve as an extra layer of protection and deter the offender from attempting to contact the victim. It's definitely possible to get a DVO against an ex, so don't wait until it's too late.

What is a DVO?

It is a protection or restraining order that is initially a temporary protective court order prohibiting someone from carrying out particular actions, like approaching or contacting a specific person. This order may become a permanent protection order for a set time like 2 or 5 years.

When to Get a DVO

You should get this restraining order if your ex has physically harmed you or your children, or has threatened any of you with harm. This includes verbal threats, abuse, damaging your property, bullying, intimidation, stalking, sexual abuse and mental abuse as well as threats expressed through e-mail, text, and social media.

How to Get a DVO

There are a several ways. The police can take one out on your behalf if they have been called to a domestic event, or you can visit your local magistrates courthouse and fil out an application, or contact a lawyer to assist. If you are in immediate danger, call 0-0-0. If danger isn't imminent, go to the courthouse in person.

Whether you go to the courthouse, a lawyer or your local police station, you'll be asked to fill out a form stating why you're requesting the protection order. If you are seeking an urgent temporary order, officials will then set your matter for a listing in from a Judge and provide you with the date you must return to speak to the court. The police will then serve your application on the Respondent who may or may not get the documents before the first return date.

Assuming that the judge grants your request, a temporary protection order will go into effect immediately, and another court date will be set to move the matter forward. The court will notify your ex of the temporary restraining order and court date. Both parties will then appear in front of the court. The Respondent can either agree to the restraining order by ‘Consent’ or by ‘Consent without Admission’ or they can not agree and the matter will move forward for a final hearing.

Tips for Appearing Before the Judge When You Get a Proection Order

The Judge will want to hear directly from you about your request for a restraining order. Make sure that you:

· Tell the truth.

· Bring any documentation you have with you, such as e-mail or text records.

· Speak clearly and stick to facts that relate to your request.

· Share anything from your history together that could be relevant to the judge's decision, such as past acts of violence against you or the children, police and intervention.

· Past DVO’s should also be brought to the judge's attention. Don't assume that he or she automatically knows about them.

What to Do Once the Temporary Order Is in Place

Make sure that you attend the court date. During the hearing, the judge will decide how long the permanent protection order will be in effect and whether it will impact your existing child custody arrangement.

How a DVO Impacts Child Custody

Domestic violence in child custody cases, whether against you or your children, is taken very seriously by the courts. A local Magistrate can exercise powers to over rule parenting orders, however this is rarely the case. The Judge may inform you that you need to make an Urgent application with the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court depending on how serious the domestic violence allegations are towards you or your children. So your local Magistrates court will not decide custody arrangements for you. A lot of people assume this.

Remaining Safe While the DVO Is in Place

When you get a protection order, there is no guarantee that your ex won't attempt to make contact with you. As best you can, try to anticipate how he or she will react when they get the news that the judge has issued a temporary restraining order. If you fear for your safety, make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative temporarily. If your ex does try to make contact and it is against the restraints in your temporary order, call the police immediately.

Always turn up to your court dates and follow the procedures of the Court. Once a temporary order is in place it is best to see a lawyer, a McKenzie Friend, Legal Aid or a free legal service to assist you through the process if you do not know what to do or else the temporary order may lapse and you are no longer protected and would have to start all over again if you are subjected to more domestic violence.

A Mckenzie Friend can assit and guide you through this entire process.

26 views0 comments