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Extend, vary or revoke an order

Information about when a family violence order can be extended, varied or revoked.

It may be possible to change or revoke family violence orders if they are made anywhere in Australia or in New Zealand, provided that they are recognised under the national domestic violence order scheme.

See National domestic violence order scheme.

Changing or revoking family violence intervention orders made in Victoria

A court can change or revoke a family violence intervention order (FVIO) if one of the parties to the order applies to court, or if the court decides that a change is necessary. When the court is making a decision about varying or revoking the order it must consider all of the circumstances of a case including:

  • the reasons the applicant is seeking the order
  • the safety of the protected person
  • what the protected person thinks about the orders being changed
  • whether the protected person is legally represented, and
  • the views of any guardian of the protected person.

If the court decides not to revoke the order it may vary the order instead.

The court may decide to make an interim order if it chooses to vary the order. This allows the court to act urgently to change an order before the respondent has been served with the application for variation. This will be treated in the same was an any other interim family violence order. For example the order may need to be varied urgently if the order lacks an exclusion condition and then a violent incident occurs after hours, which means that the respondent has to be excluded.

See s. 100—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and Interim orders and Family violence and children.

Changing or revoking recognised interstate orders

The court may vary or revoke an interstate recognised domestic violence order (DVO) in the same way as they make a decision about varying an (FVIO), however they may not vary or revoke an order if that interstate recognised DVO cannot be varied or revoked in the jurisdiction where it was made. Anyone advising a person who wants to make a change will have to check the law where the order was made.

For a list of the relevant interstate laws see National domestic violence order scheme.

Once an order is varied, revoked, this will be recognised in other states and territories.

The court may decline to hear the application to vary or revoke a recognised interstate order. When making this decision the court may take the following matters into account:

  • if there has been any material change in the circumstances on which the order was based
  • the jurisdiction where the applicant and respondent generally live or work
  • how difficult it would be for the respondent to attend the hearing
  • if there is sufficient information available to the court about the basis for making the original order
  • if there are any proceedings being taken about an alleged contravention of the order
  • if it would be practical for the applicant to apply for a Victorian family violence intervention order that would have similar protections to the interstate order
  • how the application may affect any children who are family members of the protected person or the respondent, or
  • any other matters the court believes are relevant.

See ss. 23, 25—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and National domestic violence order scheme.

Who may apply

Anyone who was a party to the proceeding when the intervention order (or recognised domestic violence order from interstate) was made may apply to revoke, vary or extend a FVIO. A protected person is included in the definition of a party to proceedings, even if they were not the applicant.

A respondent may only apply to have a Victorian family violence intervention order varied or revoked if the court has given them permission to apply. This is because the court can simply refuse to hear an application to change a recognised interstate domestic violence order.

Any police officer may apply for this change, regardless of whether they were the applicant in the original order. A protected person's guardian may also apply. If a police officer applies, they do not need consent from the protected person.

The Children's Court may vary or revoke a recognised non-local domestic violence order on its own motion when hearing an application for a child protection order.

See ss. 108, 110—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and ss. 24, 25(3), 26—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

To link to the application see Forms.

Where a child is protected

If the protected person is a child, the parent or any other person who has permission from the parent may also apply. If the child is 14 years old or more, they can apply if the court agrees.

See s. 108(1)(b), (1)(c)—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

If the respondent applies

The court must give leave for the respondent to apply for a variation or revocation of a FVIO. The court will only do this if satisfied that there has been a change in circumstances since the family violence intervention order was made and that this change justifies the variation or revocation.

See s. 109—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Court must investigate if any other person needs protecting

Before the court varies or revokes a FVIO it must decide if:

  • there have been any changes in the need to protect any person who is protected by the order
  • any new family members (to either the respondent or the protected person) who need protection
  • there have been any orders made under the Family law Act 1975 (relating to residence or contact with a child protected by the order).

If the court believes that a child needs protection the court may make a new order that gives continued protection to that child. It can also vary the order to add a child to the order if they were not protected before, either because of an oversight, or because they were not yet born.

See ss. 102, 103, 104—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Extending a final order

How to extend a final order

The applicant or affected person may apply for an extension of their final order if they are still concerned for their safety. They should apply to court at least 4 weeks before the current order is due to expire.

The applicant needs to fill in the application, print it out and take it to the court where the family violence intervention order was made.

To apply see Magistrates’ Court—Application to extend-vary-revoke a family violence intervention order(opens in a new window).

The court may decide to extend a FVIO if the court believes that the respondent is likely to commit family violence against the protected person if the order is not extended. The court can do this following an application to extend the order, or may do this of its own volition.

If a person applies for an extension of a final order before it expires and the respondent has not yet been served, the court may decide to grant an interim extension so that protection continues until the respondent can be served.

See ss. 106, 107—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Changing or revoking an order made in New Zealand

Where a corresponding order has been registered, a Victorian court may:

  • vary the registration of a registered order as it applies in Victoria
  • extend the period during which a registered order has effect in Victoria, or
  • revoke the registration of a registered NZ order.

The respondent and protected must have been notified of the application.

The court that made the order must be notified of the change. An order revoked, varied or extended in a New Zealand court will have no effect in Victoria.

See ss. 179, 180, 181—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Who may apply?

Applications for a change to the registration of a New Zealand order may be made by:

  • a person who is protected under the order
  • the person against whom the order has been made (respondent)
  • a police officer
  • any person who has been granted leave by the court.

See s. 180—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Parties must be notified

The court will not make an order to vary, revoke or extend the registration of an interstate or New Zealand order unless the protected person and/or the respondent have been served with a notice about this. If the protected person or the respondent are the applicants, they will not need to notify themselves.

Orders are deemed to have been made on the date that they are registered in a state or territory of Australia. Variations, extensions and revocations are made by amending the registration of these orders.

See ss. 180, 181—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window) and s. 9—National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Changes made in other states will not be recognised

Any change to an order that is made in New Zealand after it has been registered under Victorian law, has no effect in Victoria. The applicant will have to register the change in a Victorian court.

See s. 179—Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

More information

Legislation

Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)

  • s. 100—power of court to vary or revoke a family violence intervention order
  • s. 102—additional protection in varying or revoking orders
  • s. 103—continuing protection for a person who is a child
  • s. 104—protection for children who have become family members since the original order was made
  • s. 106—power of the court to extend a final order
  • s. 107—interim extension order
  • s. 109—application by a respondent for variation or revocation of a FVIO
  • s. 110—application by a police officer
  • Part 10—corresponding New Zealand orders

See Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)

  • s. 23—power of court to vary or revoke recognised non-local domestic violence orders (DVOs)
  • s. 24—application for variation or revocation of recognised non-local DVO
  • s. 25—decision about hearing the application
  • s. 26—the Children's court may vary or revoke a recognised non-local DVO on its own motion

See National Domestic Violence Order Scheme Act 2016 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Reference

Magistrates' Court of Victoria

The court website has information about extending, varying or changing family violence intervention orders.

See Magistrates' Court—Changing an intervention order (FVIO)(opens in a new window)

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