Domestic Violence Order (DVO)

If you’ve been threatened with domestic violence or you’ve been a victim of domestic abuse, then you can apply for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO). Here, we’ll cover what a Domestic Violence Order in QLD is, look at the types of DVO’s available,  discuss how you can apply for a DVO and how you can vary, suspend or contest a DVO.

What is a Domestic Violence Order (DVO)?

A Domestic Violence Order is a court-issued document that aims to:

  • stop threats or acts of domestic violence occurring;
  • maximise the safety, protection and wellbeing of people who fear or experience domestic violence;
  • ensure that people who commit domestic violence are held accountable for their actions.  

What Types of DVO are there?

There are two types of Domestic Violence Order: a Temporary Protection Order and a Final Protection Order. If you’re in immediate danger, you can apply for both at the same time.

Temporary Protection Orders

If you need urgent assistance, then either you or the police can apply for a Temporary Protection Order. This will then be considered urgently by a magistrate.

If the magistrate agrees to grant a Temporary Protection Order, then it will be valid until the magistrate can decide on the application for a final Protection Order.

Final Protection Orders

Final Protection Orders, unless stated otherwise on the Order,  last for five years.

However, if the court feels it’s appropriate, then it can make the order for either a shorter or a longer period of time.

Once in place, both the aggrieved and the respondent will get their own copy of the DVO (as will anyone named in the order). Both parties are expected to keep this safe and it should be presented to the police if they’re ever called to your home.

What Are the Conditions of a DVO?

The conditions of a court-issued DVO will vary depending on your circumstances and your application.

However, each DVO comes with a standard condition stipulating that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved or any other person named on the order.

In addition, the court will also make a series of other rules that will apply to the DVO.

For example, if the respondent has a weapons licence, this will be suspended or cancelled and they’ll be unable to apply for another for up to five years. They’ll also be asked to give up any weapons they own.

When you apply for a DVO, you can also list any conditions you’d like the court to consider. This could include conditions that will stop the respondent:

  • Approaching you at home or at work;
  • Staying in your current home;
  • Approaching your family or relatives (you must name these people in the application);
  • Visiting your child at their school or day care centre.

A DVO does not stop the aggrieved person from living with or being in a relationship with the respondent. Many people decide that they want to stay together following the DVO, and are free to do so if they wish. However, that person should always consider their own safety before making this decision.

How do I Apply for a DVO?

To apply for a DVO in QLD, you can either:

  • Apply for the DVO yourself;
  • Ask a police officer or a lawyer,  to apply for you.

If you’re applying for the Order yourself, you can:

  • Complete online form DV01 (or complete the interactive PDF version);
  • Print a copy of the PDF form and fill it in by hand;
  • Visit your nearest Magistrates Court and fill in the form there.

You should fill in the form with as much detail as possible and, if you can, include exact information on the domestic violence that has happened or has been threatened.

Once you have completed your form, you’ll need to:

  • Sign the statutory declaration in front of a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations;
  • File the application at a Magistrates Court either by post or in person.

Most Magistrates Courts have a Justice of the Peace, so many people choose to sign the form there and deliver the application during the same visit. If you’d rather post the form, you can search for your nearest Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations online.

How Do I Appeal a DVO or have it Varied or Suspended?

If a Court grants a DVO, you can appeal the Magistrate’s decision. To do this, you must lodge an appeal at the District Court within 28 days of the decision being made.

Similarly, if the court issues a DVO and your circumstances change, you can apply for the Order to be varied. You can request that the court:

  • Add or remove conditions;
  • Add or remove named people; or
  • Extend or reduce the time the Order is in force.

While assessing your request, the court will consider whether the requested changes will reduce the safety of someone named in the Order.

The aggrieved, the respondent, the applicant or a named person can apply to have the DVO varied or suspended.

To apply to have your Queensland DVO changed, you must:

  • Fill in form DV4;
  • Sign the statutory declaration in front of a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations; and
  • File the application at a Magistrates Court either by post or in person.

Contact Us to Learn More About DVOs

If you have been subject to family violence or abuse and need help applying for a DVO at Damien Greer Lawyers, we can help you. Our family lawyers have years of experience in dealing with DVOs in Queensland. From the initial DVO application to the final magistrate’s decision, we will be by your side supporting you through the process. To learn more about DVOs in Queensland, please call us on (07) 3837 5500 or get started online.