How Are Children Affected by an AVO?
Having an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) placed on you by a former partner or spouse can affect your access to children you share with your ex.
The team at DGB Lawyers have compiled some pertinent information to ensure that you understand the rights of all parties involved in this unfortunate situation.
What Is an AVO?
In New South Wales, an Apprehended Violence Order is intended to protect parties from intimidation, harassment and violence.
You can have an AVO made against you if the Court considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe that you have, or are likely to commit an act of domestic violence against another person.
Alternatively, you may also have an AVO made against you if you have stalked or intimidated another person with the intent to cause physical or mental harm. Read here to know how and when to obtain an AVO
An AVO may restrict you from attending certain places such as a residential address or school.
After an Application for an AVO is made, you can choose to consent to the AVO being made against your or you can defend the AVO being made against you.
It is important to be aware that an AVO is not a criminal offence However, if you break the terms of the order, you may be charged with a criminal offence.
In the Case of Children
An AVO does not only protect the person named on the AVO, but also anyone who resides on the same property as them. This will include any children that live with the protected person.
This prevents the defendant from seeing their children, even if there are no allegations in relation to the children.
AVOs and Parenting Orders
If a parenting order and an AVO conflict, the parenting order overrides the AVO.
For example, if your parenting order provides for you to pick up your children from the protected person’s house on a Wednesday at 3pm, this will be allowed.
However visiting the protected person’s house at any other time may be considered a breach of the AVO, as will any other behaviour that conflicts with the AVO conditions.
It is important to remember that parenting orders are made by the Courts, unlike parenting plans. A parenting plan is not a Court Order and it does not override an AVO.
For more information about how your parenting order or plan affects an AVO, seek expert criminal law legal advice.
Unfairly Accused Defendants
AVOs are sometimes made in cases where the defendant has done nothing wrong at all. There is also the potential for AVOs to be used as an underhanded tactic to unfairly keep an ex-partner from seeing their child.
If you believe you have unfairly had an AVO sought against you, it is crucial that you act immediately by consulting a criminal law lawyer.