Who can apply? - Interim FVROs

Logo for FRVO self-help guideYou can apply for an FVRO against someone if you are, or have been, in a family relationship with that other person. 

You are called the 'Applicant' or 'Person seeking to be protected'. The person you want the order against is called the 'Respondent' or the 'Person bound' if an order is made.

  • If you are 16 years of age or older, you can apply for an FVRO yourself (or the police can apply for you).

  • Until you turn 18 years old, an application for an FVRO can also be made for you by a parent, guardian, child protection worker or the police.

How do I know if I am or have been 'in a family relationship' with the other person?

The definition of family member is broad and covers current and former:

  • spouses, partners, siblings, children, parents, grandparents, step-family and other relatives, and
  • people from intimate or family-type relationships, including carers.

It also covers the former spouse or de facto partner of the other person’s current spouse or current de facto partner or a relative of theirs..

The FVRO application form lists some examples of people who can be in a family relationship with each other.

Application for an FVRO image

What if I already have a restraining order from interstate?

If you already have a domestic violence order which was made in another state, you may not need to apply for a new order in WA. Australia now has a system of national recognition for family violence restraining orders (sometimes called Domestic Violence Orders). All restraining orders providing protection from family violence which were made in Australia after 24 November 2017 are nationally recognised and enforced by police and the courts anywhere in Australia.

This means that once a new FVRO comes into force (normally when it is served on the Respondent), it automatically applies in all places across Australia, without having to be registered in every individual state or territory.

There are some special rules about orders made in Victoria. A domestic violence order made or varied in Victoria at any time (including before November 2017) is automatically recognised across Australia. This includes orders originally made in New Zealand which have been registered in Victoria.

Restraining orders from the following countries can be enforced in Western Australia if they are nationally recognised, or are registered in Western Australia:

  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • the United Kingdom.

You do not have to apply for a new order in WA to have a family violence protection order made in the above countries or other states or territories of Australia recognised under the National Scheme.

Any foreign order registered in WA before 25 November 2017 can still be enforced in WA if the order is current.

More information about national recognition and registration is available in Find Legal Answers: Interstate and overseas restraining orders.


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.