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Intervention Order Lawyers Melbourne

Intervention Orders: IVO, FVIO and PSIO

If you are seeking an Intervention Order due to Family Violence or for Personal Safety reasons or responding to one, our team of highly experienced Melbourne lawyers can help.

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Speak With One Of Our Highly Experienced Melbourne Intervention Order (IVO) Lawyers Today


Applying for or responding to an intervention order can be highly distressing for all parties involved, with serious impacts on family court proceedings if not handled correctly. We understand how to sensitively and skillfully handle matters relating to family and domestic violence, and will provide clear legal advice regarding orders and how they may affect parenting arrangements and property matters.

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How can we assist with your Intervention Order?


Intervention Orders (IVO) demand a high degree of understanding and awareness of the broader impact such orders have in Family Law matters, particularly parenting or property matters. By working with us, we can help you apply for, alter, or respond to an order.

We will ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome and provide the following:

  • Advice and representation to obtain or defend an intervention order, whether it’s on an interim or final basis
  • Assist you with any related family violence matters, including having children placed on a protective order
  • Help you to apply for variations, extensions or cancellations of existing intervention orders
  • Advise you on how to respond to breaches or orders in place
  • Represent you during the court process if necessary

We understand that it can be even more overwhelming when you have been in an intimate relationship with someone, and there are risk factors of this type at play – and even more distressing if there are children involved, or you are going through Family Court proceedings or preparing Parenting Orders.

Hidden FIeld

What is an Intervention Order (IVO)?

An Intervention Order (IVO) is a court order issued by the Magistrates Court, aimed at protecting individuals, children and families (and their property) from harmful behaviour being directed at them by another person.

They can be made for a number of reasons, including if someone has:

  • Behaved in a threatening, offensive or intimidating way that makes you or others fearful
  • Assaulted or abused you, or threatened to do so (sexually, physically, mentally or emotionally)
  • Harassed you
  • Used fear or coercive control to influence you
  • Caused you or your family to live in fear
  • Followed you or stalked you (in person or online)
  • Threatened to damage your property, or harm your pets.

In Victoria, the relationship between the two parties determines the type of Intervention Order that will be made:

  • Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO): family member, partner, former partner
  • Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO): stranger, friend or employer.

These orders legally request a person to stop directing harmful behaviours towards you, and/or your family.

They are civil orders that outlines actions they need to stop doing, or not attempt to do. If the person does things they have been ordered not to do, it’s seen as a breach of the order.

Breaches are a criminal offence, not a civil matter. They can carry significant penalties, including jail.

This type of order is also known in various regions as a Domestic Violence Order (DVO), Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), Intervention Order (IVO), Family Violence Order (FVO), or Restraining Order, depending on the state or territory.

    What types of Intervention Orders are there in Victoria?

    Victorian courts grant two types of intervention orders, with variations depending on the nature of the relationship.

    If the matter relates to family violence, which includes current and former spouses, intimate (a girlfriend or boyfriend) and de facto partners (including same-sex and LGBTIQ+ partners) and close family members, a Family Violence Intervention Order will be made.

    If the matters relate to someone else where an intimate or family relationship does not exist, a Personal Safety Intervention Order will be made. FVIOs are made under the Family Violence Protection Act 2008. We’ll look more closely at each type below, and you can also read a general overview of intervention orders.

    Who are the parties involved with an Intervention Order?

    When an intervention order goes to court, there will be:

    The Applicant – This is the person who applied for an order. This may be the person seeking protection, or it may be done on their behalf by the police. Our experienced team of specialist lawyers will assist you with making an application and provide support throughout the process, advising you of available options for protection. If an order has been imposed after police attendance due to suspected domestic or family violence, and an interim intervention order has been placed on the Respondent that the aggrieved does not agree with, there are further complexities to the matter, which we can also guide you through.

    The Affected Family Member/s or Protected Persons – This is the person or people affected by the situation the order seeks to protect. This person may also be the Applicant. Protected persons may include a whole family or a number of people at risk, such as children or close family members.

    The Respondent – This is the person that protection is being sought from, who will need to respond to the application. If you are the Respondent to an intervention order, we can defend you and endeavour to resolve your dispute as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. If necessary, we can appear on your behalf or arrange representation at the Mention, Directions Hearing and Contested Hearing.

    Please refer to our article for a helpful list of language used in these matters.

    What are the costs of getting an Intervention Order in Victoria?

    There are no costs for applying for an intervention order through the Victorian Magistrates Court. Costs will apply for legal fees if either party chooses to seek legal advice or requires representation at a matter.

    If you need to understand more about the costs of our intervention order lawyers, Melbourne & surrounds, please get in touch and we’ll be able to give you a clear figure in this area based on the details of your matter.

    What is a Prohibited Behaviour during an active Intervention Order?

    Prohibited behaviours outlined in an intervention order can include many things but are commonly made to prevent someone from:

    • Coming within a certain distance of someone
    • Contacting someone
    • Following or showing up at another person’s home or work
    • From threats or incidents of physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, mental abuse, economic abuse, stalking, threats or coercive control

    These orders might be made to stop someone from making threats or physically harming another person, their property or their pets. They could relate to preventing financial abuse of an elder family member or partner or stopping someone from having a third party harass them. There are many reasons that these orders can be made, and while they are often seen in intimate relationships (marriages, de facto or romantic relationships), orders are also made to protect a family unit or can be made against a neighbour or someone who is otherwise a stranger.

    There may be a serious history of sexual, physical or psychological violence, or ongoing issues with coercive control or invasion of privacy. Whether obvious or more subtle, orders can be made to prevent ongoing incidents that may escalate over time, and interim orders can be made if immediate protection is required.

    How long will an Intervention Order last for once it's been put in place?

    In most cases in Victoria, there is a set timeframe that a final intervention order to be made for. This can be a year or indefinitely if the circumstances call for it.

    Interim orders will last until a final order is made, or if the interim order is cancelled or changed. Orders can be removed by the Applicant (Protected Person), if the Respondent appeals the matter successfully, or at the Court’s discretion.

    In some cases, even if the Applicant (Protected Person) requests an intervention order to be removed (whether they applied directly for it or it was placed on their behalf by the police), the Courts will not allow this to happen. This is because some people are pressured, threatened or coerced to have an order cancelled when they are still at risk of harm.


    Hidden FIeld

    How do I respond to an Intervention Order being made against me?

    In most cases, the police will attempt to serve paperwork directly to you but may also do so by email or post. If you are the Respondent for an FVIO or PSIO, it’s best to seek legal advice before replying and ensure you follow all requests outlined in the order, even if you wish to dispute or appeal it.

    Orders of this type are civil orders rather than a criminal charge, and only if a breach occurs would be seen as a criminal offence. If police cannot find you to serve paperwork, they may file a ‘Certificate of Inability to Serve’, which means the hearing can commence, without you being present. You will need to attend court or have your lawyer do so on your behalf, as an order can be made even if you do not attend. It is important to attend court if possible and prepare yourself before the day.

    Please speak to us if you need to understand more about managing an intervention order court hearing. You can also find more information about consenting to an order here.

    What are the consequences of breaching an Intervention Order?

    Intervention order breaches in Victoria can have serious consequences, and shift from being a civil to a criminal matter. Some repercussions include:

    • Being arrested or having further court matters to address, which may result in a trial and/or a conviction

    • Having criminal charges laid (summary or indictable), which may result in community orders or imprisonment if a maximum penalty applies for the breach

    • Changes to the order being made, such as it being extended or having more conditions added to it

    • Impacts on family law matters and outcomes if family or domestic violence charges are made

    Breaching intervention orders are serious criminal offences, which can result in criminal charges and leave you with a criminal record. That’s why it is vital to seek legal assistance from expert intervention order lawyers, if you are responding to an order and follow orders carefully if one is already in place.

    If a matter results in criminal prosecution, criminal defence lawyers may be required.

    I feel I have had an Intervention Order placed on me unfairly, what should I do?

    While family violence and personal safety intervention orders were created to protect vulnerable people from experiencing harm from violence, harm, control and abuse, there are, unfortunately, people who use them vexatiously, unfairly or for personal gain. If you feel an order has been made, or applied for unjustly or for leverage in Family Court proceedings, it’s vital to get legal advice.

    Our team has extensive experience working on matters such as this and will provide support and legal representation where required to assist with an appeal or appropriate response to orders. Please get in touch with our team as soon as possible for further advice.

    What are Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIO)?


    A Family Violence Intervention Order (FVIO) is based on the Family Violence Protection Act of 2012 and seeks to protect family members and those in relevant relationships from domestic and family violence.

    Family Violence Intervention Orders are frequently seen in relationships between couples and family unit settings but can be sought in many circumstances, including elder, sibling or parental abuse.

    They apply to people in intimate relationships, family members and informal care relationships, where one person is dependent upon the other for help with daily living activities.

    Protected persons ( the ‘affected family member or family members’), also known as the aggrieved, are the people the order seeks to protect, who may also be the Applicant (the person who has submitted the paperwork).

    A protected person may not be an actual family member, as noted above, but is considered protected under the rules of a Family Violence Intervention Order. Children are frequently protected persons under this type of order.

    Hidden FIeld

    How is a Family Violence Intervention Order application made?

    Intervention order applications are made through a local Magistrates Court (the Magistrates Court of Victoria) and can be made online. They are often made by the Affected Person or Protected Person or their lawyer. Still, they can also be made by the police or another applicant on behalf of the person experiencing violence or if it’s out-of-hours and immediate protection is needed.

    For an intervention order to be granted, the Respondent(the person protection is being sought against) generally needs to be served with relevant orders. If the Respondent is unable to be found, or difficult to serve, the courts may grant an interim or final order if they believe it is warranted. Both parties and their lawyers may attend the Magistrate courts for the hearing, or the police prosecutor may do this on behalf of the aggrieved if the police have applied for the order.

    If safety issues present for the applicant / protected person, measures such as appearing by video link may be put in place. If the Respondent does not attend, a final order may still be made to grant the order. Pearson Lawyers have extensive experience in assisting in intervention order matters. Please get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

    What is the Family Violence Protection Act of 2008?

    The Family Violence Protection Act of 2008 is a piece of legislation that is currently active (enacted) in Victoria. It’s designed to give legal protection and support to individuals and families who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing family violence. It covers:

    Intervention Orders: The Act allows for intervention orders, also known as restraining orders or protection orders, to be issued by Victorian Magistrates Courts to help to protect victims of family violence from further harm.

    Giving The Police The Ability To Act: It grants additional abilities to police to intervene in cases of family violence, including being able to issue on-the-spot intervention orders if they attend an incident in which someone experiencing family violence may require protection and not be able to act on their own behalf.

    Support Services: The Act also covers additional support services for victims of family violence, including emergency access to refuges and shelters, counselling, and legal assistance.

    Legal Definitions: This legislation also provides legal definitions of what family violence is, covering physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and financial abuse, as well as controlling and coercive behaviour.

    You can learn more about it here:

    What are Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO)?


    A Personal Safety Intervention Order (PSIO) is similar to a Family Violence Intervention Order, but are more specifically made to protect one or more persons from certain behaviours from another person, including physical, emotional, mental or psychological harm.

    Other behaviours such as financial abuse, stalking, coercive control and threats to harm can also be grounds for a Personal Safety Order.

    The main difference between a PSIO and an FVIO is that no familial relationship is deemed present with a PSIO. This may be someone you work with, an acquaintance or a neighbour who has intended to cause you physical or mental harm.

    What is an Interim Intervention Order?


    An Interim Order is made by or on behalf of the protected person or protected persons as a temporary measure of protection before an intervention order hearing takes place.

    This is often done when immediate security is required but cannot be granted when needed and may be made by the police.

    Final Family Violence and Personal Safety Intervention Orders need to be made at the Magistrates Court, on or on behalf of the Protected or Affected Person.

    What’s the difference between an FVIO, PSIO, IVO, AVO and Restraining Order?


    Family violence and personal safety orders have different names in different states and have also changed over time across states. Different types of orders with similar purposes may also have specific names, such as Victoria’s FVIO & PSIO.

    • Protection Orders (QLD)
    • Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (NSW)
    • Intervention Orders (VIC & SA)
    • In Victoria, we have Family Intervention Orders (FVIO) or Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO), which are collectively referred to as Intervention Orders (IVO).
    • Violence Restraining Orders (WA)
    • Family Violence Order (TAS)
    • Domestic Violence Order (ACT & NT).

    Order names also vary in common language use, broadly referred to as ‘Restraining Orders’, as well as previous legal names like AVO (Apprehended Violence Orders) and IVO (Intervention Order).


    Are there alternatives to getting an Intervention Order against my ex partner or my child’s parent?


    Yes, there are alternatives to Family Violence Intervention Orders, but it really depends on the nature and severity of the matters.

    In some cases, counselling orders or educational courses may be prescribed by court orders, but this will only occur if the court does not deem a safety risk present.

    If children are involved, it’s also possible to organise supervised visits if children will not be at risk of harm in this setting.

    What other safety plans can I put in place if experiencing Family Violence?


    If you are experiencing family violence, our team of lawyers have the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise to assist you and your family in these difficult times.

    Creating a safety plan is highly advised, as is preparing an emergency exit plan, which can be implemented at work, at home and at school for any children involved. A plan should cover:

    • How to leave quickly and safely if needed
    • Items that will need to be taken (ID, clothing, toiletries etc)
    • Who to contact if there is an incident or emergency (police, lawyers, family, friends etc)
    • How to safely use your phone and internet, especially if there is any chance it’s being monitored. This may include changing pins, using anonymous email addresses, and increasing login security.

    Please get in touch with our Melbourne team of intervention order lawyers today for further advice and assistance.

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    I was recommended to go to Pearsons Lawyers and speak to Leanne Abela about my family law matter. I was told that Leanne and her team will win your case! From my initial meeting to my very last court hearing Pearson’s Lawyers have provided exceptional professionalism and the highest level of compassion during one of the most challenging times in my life. Louis Horsley was appointed my solicitor and his expertise, knowledge and genuine care for me and my two young boys was unbelievable. We had a complex legal case and nothing thrown his way was left defeated. Louis is extremely committed he ensured I got the best outcome and kept me grounded and focused through the whole process. To come away with the win was an unbelievable feeling and to be able to trust a team of people who were fighting my battle with me, was truly remarkable! Thank you Louis, Kenny, Karen, Christine, and Leanne! You are amazing people to do the work you do and deal with the stress of your clients with such respect and grace! I am forever grateful! Louis you are an absolute legend and I wish you all the success in your career, you are amazing!
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    I dealt with a difficult case where goal posts changed and an inconsistent and nasty approach from the other side dragged proceedings on for a long time. Kenny with great support from Joe lead me through the details and assured me of the process. Amanda was great closing out with a completely unexpected win for my children and I.The team at Glenroy as a whole is warm, welcoming, supportive and professional, I wasn't mislead in any way and prepped well for whatever situation we were facing, I applaud the team as they really do go along the journey with you.I hope anyone reading this doesn't face the same as I did but if you're looking for a good all round professional and experienced team, look no further than Pearson's Glenroy. Stay patient and listen to their advise.Thanks to Kenny, Joe, Amanda, Loriene, Jayne, Christine, Sam, Andrew, Venus and anyone else remotely associated with my case, life changing and appreciated.Regards,Nick E
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    Venus PhamI uldlike to express my most sincere thanks for the most professional representation. You have stuck by me through thos months in dealing with this very stressful case. I admire your composure, work ethic and most of all excellent representation, and I know that you will be on my side until the very end. And thanks Leanne for her unforgettable support.❤️
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    I met with Jacqui Spry. She was the most down to earth and up front person I’ve ever come across. She never gave up on me. Jacqui always let me know what was happening and what could happen along the way. She kept the fees down as much as she could under the circumstances. It was the most traumatic time I’ve ever had in my whole life (a horrible domestic violence situation), although she helped me keep it together. She helped me to do what I thought was the undoable. Jacqui was fantastic and I’m so glad I had her to represent me. 😊
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    My Father recommended Pearsons Lawyers to me years ago Then recently another trusted referral. From Solicitors Leanne, Brenda, Vertiy, Karen at Reception. The team are fantastic. Understanding. Sincerely interested in protecting your welfare and have your best interests at heart. I feel safe with Pearsons Lawyers looking after me. Thankyou Pearsons Lawyers.
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    Cannot recommend Helen Le at pearsons lawyers enough! From the start til very end Helen was extremely helpful and put up with my constant calls annoying her with all the silly questions and worrying. Helen always listened to me and actually helped me come out with a lot better outcome then I expected. Once again can not recommend Helen enough!!
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