COVID-19: Applying for an FVRO

If you are at risk of family violence, it is very important to think about the safety of you and your children, in deciding what to do next. 

There are a range of possible options to help protect you, including getting a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO). A lawyer can help you to decide what to do next. 

Video: Get help with family violence and FVROs

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How can I apply for an FVRO?

Changes to the law in WA have made it easier for some people to apply for an FVRO.

You can apply online for an FVRO through an approved legal service provider.

Alternatively, you can apply for an FVRO in person at court, subject to COVID-19 restrictions, or by fax. 

If you have a Family Court case or a child protection case in the Children’s Court, you can ask for an FVRO to be made against a person involved in the case without them being present.

Changes have been made to make it easier for the police to serve the respondent if an interim order is made. Put as many contact details in your application as possible about the respondent, for example, their address, phone number and also their date of birth and the correct spelling of their name. 

What happens after I lodge my application?

Some courts in WA have different processes for getting an FVRO, due to COVID-19 and other reasons. If you are not sure, ask your legal service provider or check with the court where your case will be heard. 

If you lodge online you can select a hearing time. If you have an urgent need for an earlier hearing time than is available online, you or your legal service provider will have to ring the court to see if an earlier hearing time is possible. 

If due to COVID-19 or for some other reason, you need to appear by phone, you must ask for this in your application and explain why. You or your legal service provider will need to check with the court to see if your request is granted. 

The court process after you lodge your application may change because of COVID-19 restrictions. You should check the current processes with the court. For example, you should check if you can still bring a support person with you to court for an in person first hearing, and you should check whether you have to attend court by phone or video. 

If you are appearing by phone, make sure you have a quiet and safe space when the court rings you. It is preferable your children are not around during the hearing, so they don’t hear what is talked about. 

How do I find a legal service provider to help me lodge an online application?

Legal Aid WA can lodge your online FVRO application and help with safety planning.

You can also ask if Legal Aid WA can help with the next steps in applying for your FVRO.

Other approved legal service providers include community legal centres, Marnin Family Support & Legal Unit,  Family Violence Prevention Legal Service (Southern Aboriginal Corporation, Albany) and Aboriginal Family Legal Services.

Call our Infoline or online chat for information and referral to services.

 

Last reviewed: 23 March 2022

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.