Orders to help keep you safe

Depending on your circumstances, there may be several ways of keeping you and your family safe by obtaining orders from the courts or the police.

The two main types of orders are restraining orders and Family Court injunctions.

If you want information about restraining orders for adults or children, including orders made by police or by telephone, visit our section on Restraining orders.

This page has information about Family Court injunctions. Find out:

  • what an injunction does
  • how to apply for an injunction, and
  • what happens after an injunction is made.

What is a Family Court injunction?

A Family Court injunction is a court order that can stop a person from doing certain things, such as:

  • going near you or where you live or work
  • trying to evict you from the family home
  • going near your children or where the children live or attend school
  • contacting you or the children
  • making insulting, derogatory, or abusive comments about you
  • taking the children away from you or a relative, or out of the state or country
  • not returning the children to you after visits
  • spending time with the children without supervision
  • letting the children have contact with certain friends or relatives
  • consuming or being under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs when spending time with the children.

The injunction can be permanent, or only for a limited time (also known as an interim order).

You should get legal advice before applying for an injunction. 

Who can apply for an injunction in the Family Court?

You can ask the Family Court for an injunction to protect yourself or your children from family violence and other behaviour that is intended to harass or intimidate you.

You can apply for an injunction against someone in the Family Court if:

  • you are or were married to, or in a de-facto relationship with, the other person, or
  • they are the other parent of a child who you want protected by the injunction.

You can apply for an injunction as part of an existing case, or on its own.

If you are on a temporary visa and you or a family member has experienced family violence by your partner, you can find out more about your immigration status and family violence.

Can I apply without telling the other person?

Yes, you can make the application without first telling the other person if:

  • the situation is urgent, or
  • there would be a risk to you or your children if the other person were to find out about your application.

You will need to explain the reasons why you didn’t give tell the other person about the application, and why the court should make orders without giving the other person any chance to say something.

You have a special obligation to tell the court about all relevant issues on both sides of the situation. Orders can be set aside if you don’t tell relevant information to the court.

You should get legal advice before making an application without giving notice to the other person.

What happens after an injunction is made?

It is not a criminal offence to break an injunction, but in some situations the police can arrest someone if they breach an injunction.

If a person breaches an injunction, you can apply to the Family Court and ask it to deal with the breach. There can be serious penalties for deliberately breaching court orders.

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.