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Intervention order FAQs: How long does an intervention order last?

May 9, 2022 | Blog, Intervention Orders

Being served an intervention order can be a very difficult time for everyone involved. Whichever side you’re on you may be wondering how long will this intervention order last? Can it be changed if it’s not fair? 

To help you process and understand your intervention order we’ve taken a closer look and answered some of your questions.

How long does an intervention order last?

Typically intervention orders last 12 months but the Magistrate can decide to extend that initial period if they think it’s neccesary. However, once the intervention order is near its end the protected person can go back to the court and request an extension – technically there is no limit to the number of times they can do this. 

The protected person will have to provide evidence as to why they still need protection from you, the respondent.

Image alt text: man on laptop with gavel in foreground. 

What is an intervention order?

An intervention order is a court order made by a magistrate that aims to help keep the protected person safe from anyone who is violent or threatening. There are two types of intervention orders in Victoria:

  • Family violence intervention orders: for family members who are violent or threatening.
  • Personal safety intervention orders: for others who are violent or threatening.

An intervention order will include rules about how you, the respondent, can behave towards the protected person. These rules aim to stop the respondent from harassing or contacting the protected person, as well as being near their house or place of work.

Can I change or defend my intervention order?

If you believe that your intervention order is unfair or incorrect you may be able to change its terms or even have it removed. There are two ways to do this – either by appeal or by having the matter reheard. 

You may be able to have the matter reheard if you missed the first hearing or did not have legal representation present. However, if the intervention order has already been finalised you will need to appeal the matter through the district court. 

Before the appeal it’s always best to hire an intervention order lawyer and have a clear, compelling reason why you disagree with the terms of the order.

For more on changing or removing an intervention order read our blog here.

man playing with child, throwing child in the air.

What if an intervention order prevents me from seeing my kids?

Children can be listed as protected people on intervention orders, which means that yes – an intervention order can stop you from seeing your kids. 

The amount of contact you’re allowed to have with your children will depend on the wording of the order and whether parenting orders are in place. While this can be incredibly difficult it’s important that you do not break the terms of the intervention order – doing so may complicate any future appeals or legal action.

Importantly, some intervention orders may allow communication and contact between the protected person and the respondent when it relates to family law. That means to gain access to your children the best course of action may be to apply for a parenting order in the commonwealth courts. 

The parenting order will consider the safety and wellbeing of the children and sets out the terms of when and how you can have contact with your children.

Do I need a solicitor if I have been served an intervention order?

When it comes to something as important as family it’s always better to give yourself the best possible chance of a favourable outcome. In most cases hiring an intervention order lawyer is a good idea. A lawyer can help you negotiate the terms of the agreement to better suit you and contest the order if necessary.

Get in touch with Testart Family Lawyers to arrange your free initial consultation and get the help you need.