Intervention Orders

    Intervention order applications are not uncommon in family law matters. Separating parties can find themselves as either an applicant or respondent in Intervention Order proceedings as a result of threats, harassment, an assault or damage to property. Intervention Order Applications are dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

    Given the seriousness of such matters a party needs to seriously consider having legal representation when the matter is before the Court. If an Intervention Order is made by the Court the potential penalties for breaching the Intervention Order are significant and may include a term of imprisonment and substantial financial penalties.

    On the first day at Court the respondent will usually be required to indicate their position in relation to the Application. The options available to the respondent include:

    • Consenting to the Intervention Order
    • Providing a Court Undertaking – if the Applicant is agreeable a respondent can effectively make a promise to the Court that they will not do any of the things outlined in the Intervention Order Application. No actual Intervention Order would be in place however if the respondent breaches the undertaking this may be used as evidence in any later Intervention Order Application against them.
    • Consent to an Intervention Order Without Admission- if this occurs an Intervention Order will be in place although the respondent will not have admitted any of the allegations which have been made against them. The serious penalties for any breach of the Intervention Order will however still apply.
    • Contesting an Intervention Order – In these circumstances an interim intervention Order may be granted on the first Court occasion and the matter listed for a hearing date at which witnesses will be required to give evidence. The Court will then make a determination as to whether or not to grant a final Intervention Order.

    The option chosen by a respondent will clearly depend on the facts of the situation and the strength of the allegations being made. There may be consequences as a result of an Intervention Order coming into effect which impact on your family law matter. We can advise you of these potential consequences and the matters which you should consider in particular if you are the respondent to the Intervention Order Application.