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Family Law

Understanding Intervention Orders

Berger Kordos Lawyers
27.06.19

Berger Kordos Lawyers recognise that you and your family’s personal safety is paramount. In today’s blog, BKL Senior Associate Yianni Kordos breaks down the details involved in obtaining an intervention order. 

When a party to a marriage applies for an Intervention Order, the Court may determine that is appropriate to make an Interim Intervention Order where they are satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that such an Order is necessary to maintain the safety of affected family members until the Application for an Intervention Order can be determined.

In most circumstances, an Intervention Order contains several exceptions, one of which being that the Respondent is still able to spend time with any children of the relationship pursuant to a Family Law Act Order. This provides a means for people with Intervention Orders against them (where there is no threat of violence to the child) to still ensure they can maintain a relationship with the child.

When determining an Intervention Order matter, a Magistrate must make enquiries as to whether there is any Family Law Act Order in relation to the child. If a Family Law Act Order has been made , the Court must make a decision whether or not it would jeopardise the safety of the child to spend time with the party who is Respondent to the Intervention Order Application. A Magistrate (pursuant to its powers under Section 68R of the Family Law Act) can make an Order to either “revive, vary, discharge or suspend the Family Law Act Order” to facilitate the correct operation of the Intervention Order.

Previously, an Intervention Order suspending a Family Law Act Order would lapse after 21 days, which meant that parenting Orders would have to resume at the end of this period. Since 1 September 2018, the Act was varied so that any suspension of parenting Orders now remain in place indefinitely.

Given that most Applications for Interim Intervention orders are heard and made on an ex parte basis (meaning the Respondent is not present), these Orders can be made without a thorough testing of evidence.

There are broadly speaking, two ways to rectify this issue to re-enable a Respondent spending time pursuant to a Parenting Order –
(a) apply to vary the terms of the Intervention Order, or
(b) make a new application to the Family Courts for new Orders, effectively overriding the Section 68R Order.

If you have an Intervention Order which suspends your parenting orders, please contact our office for a consultation and advice.