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AVO for a Child: A Complete Guide

avo for a child

AVOs cover the individual mentioned in the order and potentially people who live on the same property.

This includes any children who reside with the protected individual.

The application for Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) or ADVO by a former partner or spouse might impact your access to children you share with them. 

Read our article on the difference between an AVO and ADVO.

Children are often mentioned as protected persons on the applications for family violence orders meant to protect a parent.

However, children can seek protection in their own right. 

Who Can Apply for an AVO for a Child?

A minor under the age of 16 cannot independently request an AVO for a child. The police can make an application for individuals under 16.

An AVO for a child may be requested by a minor who is 16 years old or older through the Local Court or the police.

Since December 3, 2016, adults named on an AVO along with a child or children may request an order from the Local Court or ask that the police do so.

Parenting Order vs Parenting Plan in an AVO for a Child

A Parenting Plan and a Parenting Order are both legal papers that specify the care arrangements for a child or children following the grant of an AVO. Nonetheless, their legal standing and enforceability are distinct.

A Parenting Order is a court order issued following a court hearing by a judge. It is legally enforceable, and failing to comply with its provisions may result in legal consequences.

A Parenting Plan, on the other hand, is an agreement between the parents that describes the care arrangements for the child or children. It is not legally binding, and although it can be used in Court as evidence, it cannot be enforced.

How Does an AVO for a Child and Parenting Orders Work Together?

If there is a contradiction between the Parenting Order and an AVO, the parenting order takes precedence.

For instance, if the Parenting Order stipulates that the defendant may pick up the child or children from the protected person’s residence on Wednesdays at 10 am., they may do so. 

Provided that they comply with the given schedule, the defendant will not breach the rules of the order. 

However, if they are to pick up the child or children on days not stipulated on the Parenting Order, they could be charged for breach of the AVO order.

Visiting the protected person’s residence at any other time could be considered a violation of the AVO.

Can a Parenting Order Be Applied When an AVO Is Already in Effect?

Yes you can apply for parenting orders when there is an AVO in place.

You do not have to wait until the AVO is expired.

However, the person applying for a Parenting Order must inform the Court of any Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) filed against them or allegations of family violence involving their kid or a child’s family member.

This information must be given under the heading ‘Further information about the relationship between the applicant and the defendant.’

When deciding what is in a child’s best interest, the Family Law Act 1975 prioritizes keeping them safe from physical or mental harm.

Family violence is a broad term that includes any action or threat by one person against another that makes the other person afraid for their safety.

Again, where the AVO and the parenting order overlap, the parenting order will take precedence.

What If the Parenting Order Was Made Before the AVO Grant? 

When the police or a person asks for an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), they must tell the Court if the parties already have or are in the process of getting parenting orders.

When deciding whether or not to issue an AVO, the Court must take into account the following:

  • safety and protection of the protected person and any kid impacted directly or indirectly by domestic or personal violence
  • how an AVO would influence contact between the protected person, the defendant, and any children of the protected person or the defendant
  • granted parenting order

The Court may issue a temporary or permanent AVO that contains additional orders to account for parenting orders or the necessity for you to participate in mediation to establish an agreement over the care of your child.

Is There a Possibility for a Defendant to Be Mistreated in an AVO for a Child?

Unfortunately, yes. AVOs could also be used subtly to keep an ex-spouse from seeing their child.

AVOs are sometimes made even when the charged person hasn’t done anything wrong. 

Need further help?

An AVO for a child is applied when they are involved in domestic and family violence incidents. 

At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the complexity of an AVO for a child, and we are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal advice and representation. 

Our lawyers and practitioners are highly experienced and knowledgeable in family law matters, and we are committed to helping our clients receive the best possible outcome.

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