How to Properly Respond to a Domestic Violence Order?
If someone has lodged an application for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO) against you, the steps you take could affect you and your children for years to come.
A Domestic Violence Order could significantly change your life. It can:
- limit the way you behave
- stop you from going home
- limit the places you can visit
More importantly, if you breach certain conditions, you could be charged with criminal offences.
1. How to respond to a DVO?
If the DVO application is made against you, you will be called the Respondent. As a Respondent, you can have the following 3 options:
- Consent to a DVO, accepting the allegations
- Consent to a DVO being made against you on a “without admissions” basis, meaning you don’t accept the allegations
- Disagree to a DVO, proceed the matter to a trial
2. Four Common Mistakes in Responding to a DVO
Trying to represent yourself in court
You have not been trained as a legal practitioner. To be honest, you are the worst person to be representing yourself.
You will find it impossible to conduct accurate research on all the legal knowledge in all areas related to domestic violence. At the same time, you would also need to figure out strategies to effectively defend yourself in Court.
Believing the Police and the Court will be fair on you
It might be frightening, but the truth is: The Court and the police are not on your side! They have a duty to protect. They will not look favourably on you.
Having emotional reactions to a DVO Order
When you have been served with a protection order or a temporary one, a fundamental requirement is that you must be of good behaviour towards the aggrieved.
This means that you need to really calm down before sending that text message, email or making that phone call.
Posting to social media or talking to friends about it
Court proceedings related to domestic violence are confidential.
You can face criminal prosecution, if you publish or communicate certain information about the proceedings.
3. What should I do when a DVO is made against me based on lies?
Unfortunately, this happens often. It is common that we see DVOs not protecting those in need, but being abused as a weapon against ex-partners, especially when child custody is disputed.
If you have received a temporary protection order and believe the allegations are lies, we can assist you in your response or defence.
If it is found that the other party’s allegations are false, the judge will dismiss the temporary protection order and not issue a long term DVO.
We can handle the matter from a calm and objective perspective. Relying on knowledge and experience, we give you the advice that best suits your situation. Let us be your worry-free legal solution.
4. The DVO has been issued. Can the DVO be amended?
Yes. A DVO can be amended.
The aggrieved, respondent or any persons named in the DVO may apply to amend the DVO.
Common reasons for amendments to DVO include:
- Excessive conditions causing a party to be homeless
- Duration of DVO is excessive
The consequences can be serious if you fail to properly respond to a DVO or abide by the conditions of a DVO. We strongly suggest that you talk to a lawyer and respond in a proper way if you are served with a DVO as the respondent. You should contact your lawyer once you receive the Police Protection Notice or before the case is mentioned in Court. Our experienced family lawyer will help you during this stressful time.