Cairns Divorce Lawyers | Family Lawyers

Domestic Violence Lawyers Cairns

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Our expert family and domestic violence lawyers specialise in helping clients apply for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVO), as well as varying the terms or defending an application made against you. If you or someone you know is currently exposed to family or domestic violence, our team of Cairns family lawyers will help guide you through the steps to ensure your peace of mind is restored.

With extensive experience across all areas of domestic violence law in Queensland, our team provides our clients with the expert representation they need to achieve protection from violence.

What is domestic or family violence?

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (QLD) defines domestic violence as behaviour by a person towards another person with whom the first person is in a relevant relationship with that:

  • is physically or sexually abusive; or
  • is emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
  • is economically abusive; or
  • is threatening; or
  • is coercive; or
  • in another way controls or dominates the second person to fear for the second person's safety or wellbeing or that of someone else. 

If you are currently experiencing domestic violence and are in fear of your life or someone else's, do not hesitate and call the police on 000.

Our Cairns family lawyers will listen to your situation and provide legal advice specific to your circumstances to help make you and your family feel safe again.

Obtaining a Domestic Violence Order

A Domestic Violence Order (DVO) is an official document issued by the court to stop acts of domestic violence, including threats. As with most court orders, a DVO sets out the rules that the respondent (the person committing the crime) must obey and is designed to keep the victim(s) safe. There are two types of DVOs.

Protection Order

Most protection orders last for five years however, the order can be made for a shorter period of time or be extended if the court feels it is appropriate. Conditions such as ensuring the respondent (the person being violent) does not come within a certain distance of where the aggrieved (the victim) live are set. These are legally binding and must be adhered to.

Temporary Protection Order

If you urgently need protection, the police can apply for a temporary protection order which, in most cases, will be considered early by a magistrate. A temporary protection order is similar to a protection order, but it's only for a short period of time to protect those in danger up until a magistrate can review the application for the full protection order.

A DVO will not appear on a person's criminal history. However, disobeying or breaching a DVO is a criminal offence and will show on a person's criminal history.

How Can a DVO Protect Me?

Every DVO has a standard condition stating that the respondent must be of good behaviour and not commit domestic violence against the aggrieved or any other person named on the order, including children, relatives or friends, if they are at risk of violence. The rules set out in a DVO will differ depending on the situation, but examples include:

  • approaching the aggrieved at their home or work
  • staying in a home they both currently share or previously shared, even if the house is owned or rented in the respondent's name
  • approaching relatives or friends
  • going to a child's school or day care centre. 

If you need domestic violence legal advice, speak to a family lawyer at Cairns Divorce Lawyers today. 

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