What is an AVO and how does it work in family law?

Date: Feb 17, 2016

There is a range of mechanisms aimed at stopping incidents of family violence. In New South Wales, one of them is obtaining an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) from the local court. If you find yourselves in a similar position, it is important you attain family law advice from an experienced lawyer.

Seeking protection from violence

An AVO is a court order against someone who has made you fear for your safety. The aim of such Order is to protect an individual from additional violence, intimidation or harassment.

There are two types of such restraining orders. You can seek an Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) when you have fear that a person not related to you presents risk to your safety.

An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO), on the other hand, can be obtained when someone you are related to or who is living with or is in an intimate relationship with you is a cause of such  fear.

How do I apply for an AVO?

There are two ways an application for an AVO can be lodged. Firstly, if you report a family violence incident or incidents to the police, and they consider your safety to be at risk, they will cause a provisional or temporary order to be made for your protection, which may eventually be made into a final order by the court following a hearing.

Secondly, you can lodge an application yourself through a local court. Your application will then be served on the other party by the police and the other party will be required to attend the local court on the date and time specified in the application.

In either case, it is advisable to talk to an experienced family lawyer who can advise you on the best way to protect your safety. For example, apart from or instead of obtaining an AVO, you can seek restraining orders for your or your children's protection from the Family Court. This can be done by an urgent application to the Family Court. However, such applications can take some time to be heard by the court, so, if you feel your safety is threatened, you should seek help from the Police as soon as possible.

If you would like to know more about the types of orders the Family Law Act can offer, talk to the experts at Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers today.