The breakdown of a relationship is often a difficult time for all involved. Sometimes the emotions associated with the end of the relationship may be exacerbated by incidents of domestic violence, which may occur at or following separation, or which may have been prevalent throughout the relationship. It is when domestic violence is present that you may wish to consider obtaining a protection order, which then begs the question: do I need a lawyer to apply for a protection order?
There are two ways that you can obtain a protection order:
- the police file an application for a protection order on your behalf; or
- you file a private application for a protection order on your own behalf.
The police will normally only file an application on your behalf if you have reported incidents of domestic violence to them, and they consider it necessary or appropriate to file an application on your behalf. In this instance, it would be unlikely you would need a lawyer’s assistance in obtaining a protection order as the police will press your application.
However, if you were to file a private application, it may be of great benefit to obtain the assistance of a lawyer. There are effectively three elements that need to be satisfied when filing an application for a protection order:
- there is a relevant relationship (e.g. a spousal relationship);
- there has been an act of domestic violence; and
- a protection order is “necessary and desirable”.
Engaging the assistance of a lawyer will enable you to ensure the above elements are appropriately addressed when preparing your application. A solicitor would also be able to ensure that sufficient detail and information is included to improve the prospects of success with your application and increase the likelihood of an order being granted.
Upon your application being filed with the court, it will be necessary to attend what is referred to as a “mention” of your application before a judge. The support of a solicitor would likely be invaluable at this stage of the process as a solicitor is well versed in court processes and procedures and would be able to make relevant legal argument on your behalf in support of your application. Having the assistance of a solicitor when attending court will also provide a level of reassurance and support for you, particularly when domestic violence has occurred during the relationship or following separation. A solicitor can affectively act as the “middle man”, to shield you from the need to engage directly with your former partner and avoid any distress associated with such communication.
At Best Wilson Buckley Family Law, we are able to assist with the preparation of all private applications for protection orders, and are able to represent you at court should this be required. If you are considering applying for a protection order, or have applied and require assistance with the court process, please contact one of our family lawyers to arrange an initial appointment to see how we might be able to assist you.