When served with an application for a Domestic Violence Order (DVO), Respondents often agree for the DVO to be made against them, rather than contesting it, for a number of reasons. Such reasons include a lack of time and money to attend Court and perhaps retain a lawyer, and/or a desire to keep their distance from an ex-partner.
Whilst simply agreeing to a DVO may seem like the most convenient and cost effective option, it is important to consider the further implications of having a DVO made against you – this is the case even if you consent to the DVO without admitting to the facts outlined in the Application. These implications include:
- Any weapons licence held by you being suspended and potentially cancelled. You will then be precluded from re-applying for a weapons licence for 5 years from the date of the DVO, which may affect your employment;
- If you are seeking parenting orders in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia, a DVO against you would need to be acknowledged and the Judge may take this into account when deciding what it is in the best interests of the child;
- If you are convicted of breaching the conditions of the DVO, this would constitute a criminal offence and may be listed on your criminal record; and
- If you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident and are applying for a visa to reside in Australia, whether temporarily or permanently, a DVO may result in your visa application being denied. Furthermore, if you are sponsoring a partner to obtain a visa to reside in Australia, a DVO may preclude you from acting as a sponsor. If you would like further information on the impact of a DVO in the area of migration law, including recent developments, click here.
In light of the above, if you are served with an Application for a Domestic Violence Order, it is important that you carefully read the statement of facts outlined in the Application to determine whether or not you agree with them. If you do not agree, you are at liberty to contest the making of a DVO.
If you would like further information or assistance in relation to contesting a DVO, the Family Law Team at McLaughlins Lawyers would be happy to help.
Author: Shona Sahay
Directors: Sophie Pearson
Date: 30 April 2019