Can I apply to vary a domestic violence order?
Under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld), an application can be made to vary an existing domestic violence order.
If you are considering making an application to vary a domestic violence order, you should seek legal advice.
Our expert domestic violence lawyers can provide you with comprehensive advice regarding the court process. We can also prepare the necessary material and represent you in court.
Who can apply to vary a protection order?
The following people can make an application to vary a domestic violence order:
- The aggrieved named in the order;
- The respondent named in the order;
- A person named in the order;
- An authorised person for the aggrieved;
- A person acting another Act for the aggrieved, respondent or named person; or
- A police officer.
What can be varied?
An application to vary a protection order can relate to any aspect of the domestic violence order. Commonly, we see applications to vary:
- A condition of the order (for example to remove a condition or amend the wording);
- The duration of the order (for example to extend the order or have it end early). If the application is to end the order early, the court must be satisfied that there are reasons for doing so; and
- The people named in the order (for example to add or remove a named person).
If you feel an aspect of your domestic violence order should be varied, we strongly recommend contacting us. We will be able to provide you with advice regarding your options.
How do I make an application to vary?
If you would like to make an application to vary a domestic violence order, the necessary application form and supporting documents need to be filed in the Magistrates Court registry.
Your application will then be listed for mention. On this date, the court will hear your application. It may be decided on this date or adjourned to a later date.
If the application to vary is contested, the matter may be listed for hearing.
Which court will hear the application?
Applications to vary domestic violence orders are heard in the Magistrates Court.
What factors will the court consider?
When considering an application to vary a domestic violence order, the court must first consider:
- The grounds set out in the application for a domestic violence order; and
- Any findings of the court that made the domestic violence order.
The law says that the safety, protection and wellbeing of people who fear or experience domestic violence including children, must be the most important consideration for the court.
If a court considers that the proposed variation will adversely affect the safety, protection or wellbeing of the aggrieved or a named person, there are additional factors to be taken into account. These include:
- Any wishes expressed by the aggrieved;
- Any current contact between the aggrieved or named person and the respondent;
- Whether any pressure has been applied (or threats made) to the aggrieved or named person; and
- The principle that the safety, protection and wellbeing of people who fear or experience domestic violence is paramount.
If you are asking to remove conditions that will reduce the protection of the aggrieved, you may need to explain how the circumstances have changed and how everyone will remain protected from domestic violence.
The court can only vary the order if it considers that the safety, protection or wellbeing of the aggrieved or named person would not be adversely affected by the proposed change. For this reason, it is important to obtain advice regarding your application to vary.
When can I make an application to vary?
An application to vary can be made at any time after a domestic violence order (either temporary or final is made). It is important to note that an application to vary can only be made in relation to a current domestic violence order.
For example, if your order has expired, you will not be able to make an application to vary.
Seek Legal Advice
While this article is intended to provide you with a guide of the general principles that operate in Queensland, it is not to be considered legal advice and may not cover important aspects that apply to your individual circumstances.
If you are considering making an application to vary a domestic violence order or are the respondent to an application to vary a domestic violence order, you should seek our advice.