Undertakings in family violence cases

In most cases of family violence, an intervention order is the most accessible and effective protective order. However, some magistrates and lawyers encourage parties to enter into an undertaking where the respondent promises the court to refrain from acting in a particular manner towards the affected family member. These undertakings are not enforceable and police cannot be involved, so there is no power of arrest or prosecution. If breached, further civil court proceedings are required, usually to reinstate the original application for an intervention order. It is important to check with both parties if an intervention order is required.