The process of filing an Application for a Domestic Violence Order (“DVO”) can be confusing and overwhelming when you do not have legal support.
Read on to learn the basics when filing an application for a Domestic Violence order, the common mistakes people make when doing so, and how to avoid them.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence includes:
- Physical or sexual abuse;
- Emotional and psychological abuse;
- Economical abuse;
- Threatening behaviour;
- Coercive control; or
- Behaviour which is any other way controls or dominates a person to fear for their safety.
You can find references to specific examples in the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld).
How to Write the Application for a Domestic Violence Order
It is vital that your Domestic Violence Application is drafted properly so that the Magistrate has all the relevant information before them. If the application is not properly drafted, this can be the deciding factor as to whether or not you obtain a Temporary Protection Order (“TPO”). A TPO is an Order which remains in place for your safety while the matter progresses through the Court to a hearing.
Common mistakes we see all the time in DV Applications include; writing in long paragraphs, including irrelevant information, not being specific enough regarding the incidents of DV and even including incidents which wouldn’t necessarily classify as DV.
Here are some tips when you are drafting your Application for a DVO to maximise the prospects of the Court granting a TPO:
- Be concise. Use short sentences and dot points. Remember that the Magistrate will often have in excess of 60 DV matters before them in a day. They do not have time to read long paragraphs with irrelevant information.
- Be particular. The Magistrate will see endless sentences that say “he/she was verbally abusive”. Remember, abuse can mean a number of things to different people. You need to provide specific examples.
- Including your most significant incidents first. You do not have to write them in date order.
We Can Help with your Application for a Domestic Violence Order
We understand that it can be very emotional reliving these incidents while you are writing them out. It can also be very challenging to put them into words in a way that maximises your chances of success of attaining a Domestic Violence Order. If you require assistance with this process please contact our experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer Ellie Prior for a reduced rate initial consultation to discuss and obtain advice about your individual circumstances. Obtaining legal advice early allows you to make informed decisions about how to proceed and may boost your prospects of success in obtaining a Domestic Violence Order, so you and your children can be safe in the future.
Author: Ellie Prior, Associate