IVOs and Family law

Intervention Order proceedings commonly take place alongside family law proceedings.
Although both matters take place in different Courts, it is often the case that the two
matters can have a significant effect on each other.

It is therefore important to consider how both matters interact with one another and seek
proper legal advice as the intersection can be complex.

What is an Intervention Order

An intervention order is a court order designed to protect a person or persons, and their
property, where there have been allegations of family violence. This order is intended to
keep the involved parties from interacting with one another.

The conditions of the Intervention Order will determine the extent of the crossover
between the intervention order and family law. This is discussed in further detail below.

Communications between the parties

The intervention order may allow the parties to communicate with each other in relation
to parenting arrangements. If the intervention order does not allow this type of
communication, it may allow the restrained party from communicating with the other
party through a mediator or lawyer.

This is an important consideration in the context of a family law separation. If one party
has sought an intervention order against the other, there may still be issues in relation to
property or parenting arrangements which will need to be finalised.

The exact circumstances that the parties can communicate is often very specific, and
any communication that is not permitted by the intervention order may result in criminal
charges. Seeking legal advice prior to any communication is highly recommended.

Negotiating parenting arrangements

The intervention order may include an exception that allows one party to do anything
that is permitted by the Family Law Act, a family law court order, a child protection order,
or written agreement about child arrangements. However, this exception is not always
available on every intervention order.

Sometimes, an Intervention Order is granted during a family law matter involving
children. This does not automatically mean that one party is not able to see the children
for the duration of the Intervention Order, however this will depend on the conditions on
the Intervention Order. If the intervention order lists any children as a protected person,
then the restrained party may be unable to communicate with the children unless there
is an agreement, parenting plan or order in place.

If there is an agreement, parenting plan or order in place, then the communication will
likely take place as specified in that document. It is advisable to ensure that any
parenting plan in place is clearly set out in writing and signed by both parties.

The parties may be able to discuss parenting arrangements in writing with each other
(such as email or text message). It is important to note that any kind of discussion
outside of parenting arrangements could potentially constitute a breach.

Actioning a parenting arrangement

If the parties can agree on a parenting arrangement, or if there is a parenting plan or
Court ordered parenting arrangements in place, then that arrangement will set out the
specific times that the children are living with/spending with each party.

If one party is subject to an intervention order, it is possible that any times outside of the
times outlined in the parenting arrangement could be considered a breach of the
intervention order.

Family law parenting orders

Sometimes there are family law orders in place for a restrained parent to spend time
with a child or children. In those circumstances, the conditions of the intervention order
may be suspended where they are inconsistent with the family law orders.

This allows the children to spend time with the restrained party, in accordance with the
family law orders.

What about my personal property?

If there is outstanding property that the parties still need to exchange, the intervention
order may allow the parties to arrange an exchange of property. The conditions of the
property exchange will normally be set out in the Intervention Order.


It is important to strictly abide by the conditions of an Intervention Orders as the
consequences of any breaches can be significant and can include criminal penalties.
This can potentially have an effect on your family law matter, depending on the

Intervention Order matters are complex, no two cases are the same. If you are involved
in an Intervention Order matter, it is important to seek legal advice from an appropriately
qualified legal practitioner.

If you or someone you know wants more information or needs help or advice with a family
law matter, please contact our Intake team on (03) 9364 7400 or email us at

This article is intended to provide general information only and is limited to the Victorian
jurisdiction only. You should obtain professional advice before you undertake any course
of action

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