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Family Law Proceedings and ADVOs

Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) are made to protect a person (the victim) from a listed person (the defendant) in circumstances of violence.

AVOs can be applied for privately, or by the Police on behalf of a victim. AVOs are not themselves criminal proceedings (albeit criminal charges can also be laid as a result of the violence), but they are dealt with in the criminal list of the Local Court.

There are two types of AVOs: Apprehended Personal Violence Orders (APVOs) and Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs).

They can be provisional, interim, or final. But all are enforceable Orders of the Court.

ADVOs can be applied for where the parties are in a domestic relationship (such as married, dating or family). They are common in family law proceedings.

The specific Orders in the ADVO will determine any impact on family law arrangements. For example, ADVOs can include a restraint on contacting or approaching the listed victim, their children, or the victim’s partner. The ADVO can specify addresses not to be approached, such as workplaces or children’s schools – but otherwise still allow for contact in certain circumstances. The ADVO can also place restraints on the consumption of alcohol.

While there is provision for subsequent Family Law Orders to effectively override the terms of an AVO – usually to allow for time with the children to still occur in protective circumstances – it is vital to seek advice in relation to the Terms of an AVO to ensure that compliance will not be a problem. This is particularly the case if Family Law Orders are already in place.

If the defendant does not act in accordance with any condition of the ADVO, they could be charged with a criminal offence; while an AVO itself is not a criminal change, breach is.

If you have an ADVO taken out against you, or you and your children are listed as the victim, it is important to seek advice.

For advice regarding an ADVO and how the restraints may impact your parenting or property proceedings, contact Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors.

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