ADVO – Apprehended Domestic Violence Order

What is an ADVO

An ADVO, or Apprehended Domestic Violence Order, protects a person from someone they are currently or were previously in a domestic relationship with.

A domestic relationship covers a wide range of scenarios including:

  1. Marriage
  2. De-Facto Relationships
  3. Intimate personal relationships
  4. Living together in the same household or previously living together
  5. Being in a relationship of care, where one party cares for the other (paid or unpaid)
  6. Relatives.

Additionally, if the parties are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, ‘domestic relationship’ encompasses a situation when the two people are part of each other’s extended family or kin, in accordance with Indigenous kinship culture.

From 3 December 2016, ‘domestic relationship’ has extended to cover the relationship between someone’s current partner and their former partner.

An ADVO can be instigated privately or by the police.

In domestic violence situations requiring an ADVO, police have the authority to take out an AVO even in circumstances where the alleged victim does not believe it is necessary and does not wish to proceed with the Order.

How Long Does an ADVO Last?

An ADVO lasts the duration stated on the Court Order, however, it does not usually last longer than 2 years.

An ADVO prevents a party in a domestic relationship from doing certain things, such as going within a certain distance from the other party, visiting the other party’s house, or contacting the other party via phone or email.

They are intended to protect the other party from physical or verbal abuse, harassment, or intimidation.

 A person that’s had an ADVO made against them will be ordered to refrain from:

  • Assaulting or threatening the protected person(s)
  • Stalking and intimidating the protected person(s)
  • Destroying or damaging property belonging to the protected person(s)

More conditions can be added to a domestic violence order, based on the circumstances. This might include preventing an individual from living with or contacting the protected person(s).

If a person who has an ADVO placed on them breaches a condition of the ADVO, they can be prosecuted and potentially face jail time.

Applying for an ADVO

If you want to apply for an ADVO, here are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Contact the police: you need to start the process by attending a station or having the police take your statement and start your application after responding to an incident
  2. Give and sign a statement: you have to provide a comprehensive statement that clearly lists the name of the defendant, your relationship with them, and all other pertinent information. You’ll have to sign this statement
  3. Police will serve your application: the police will serve your statement to the defendant so they are aware that they may be subject to an ADVO
  4. Attend court: attend the court to have your application finalised

It is important to understand that there are two types of ADVOs.

One type of ADVO is when the police make an application on your behalf.

The second type of ADVO is when you make a private application to the court seeking the protection order yourself

Defending or Removing an ADVO

If you’ve been named as a defendant of an ADVO, you’re not automatically banned from seeing or contacting the protected person.

Once you have an ADVO on your record, it could affect you down the line, especially if you are considering obtaining child custody rights in the future.

So you can contest or defend an ADVO by responding to the application. Even if a final order is made, you can appeal this within 28 days with the District court.

Let’s start with defending an ADVO or responding to an ADVO application before a final order is reached.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make a cross application
  • Respond to the application
  • Ask for a property recovery order

Before we go into these in more detail, it’s important to note that to buy yourself time and get legal advice, you can ask for an adjournment of the court.


Responding to an ADVO Application

It is important to note that the protected person does not need to prove that you have committed violence against them, only that their fear of you is reasonable.

So, some of the ways that you can push back against that is by:

  • Giving the court an undertaking – this is a binding promise to the court that you will adhere to or refrain from a certain action
  • Contest the ADVO – that is, you will argue the facts of what happened to establish what the applicant is saying is false.
  • Consent to the ADVO without admissions – this is when you agree to the terms of the ADVO but do not agree with the fact

The Effect of ADVO on Parenting Orders

When questioning what is an ADVO, you will want to know if an ADVOcan impact family law proceedings and your relationship with your children.

If parenting proceedings are commenced in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court, the court is obligated by law to consider any allegations of family violence when making decisions about the children.

You may want to know – ‘what is an ADVOand how does it affect my time with my children’ because you have been served with one recently.

It is important to note that orders of the Federal Circuit Court & Family Court override orders or restrictions in ADVOs.

This means that if there is an ADVO preventing you from spending time with your children, and the Federal Circuit & Family Court provides an order for you to spend time with your children, you should follow the Family Court orders.

The Court Orders from the Federal Circuit Court & Family Court can be attached to the ADVO so that the Local Court is aware the conditions have been overridden by another order.