A family violence order (including an interim order) is generally made under a prescribed law of a state or territory to protect a person from family violence.

Family violence orders are called different things in different states such as:

  • Protection Orders (QLD)
  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (NSW)
  • Intervention Orders (VIC & SA)
  • Violence Restraining Orders (WA)
  • Family Violence Order (TAS)
  • Domestic Violence Order (ACT & NT).

Under the Family Law Act, all state and territory orders are described as family violence orders. Such orders may forbid one parent from coming within a set distance of another parent or stalking or harassing them.

Sometimes the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court makes an order or an injunction that is inconsistent with the state or territory order (see Sections 68P and 68Q of the Family Law Act). Family violence orders can allow parties to come into contact with each other only for:

  • delivering or collecting a child who is spending time with a parent or other person (as provided by the Family Law Act), or
  • enabling parties to attend family counselling, family dispute resolution, a family consultant meeting or other court events during family law proceedings.

Child protection orders are different to family violence orders. They are made by a state Children's Court when it is believed that a child is in need of protection. However, children can sometimes be included on family violence orders made for a parent.

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