​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |
LawAccess NSW > Representing Yourself > AVOs > AVOs and Family Law

Apprehended Violence Orders and Family Law

If you and the other party have children together, you will need to think about how an AVO will work with any orders or agreements about the children.

If you are worried that an AVO will stop you seeing your children, you should get legal advice.

    ​How do ​AVOs and parenting orders work together?

    Parenting orders are orders made by a court about the arrangements for care of children. They can be made by the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court - family law matters.

    If there is an AVO and a family law parenting order, the parenting order will override the AVO if the orders say different things. So for example:

    • An AVO states that the defendant must n​ot go to the protected person's house
    • A family law parenting order states the defendant should pick up the children from the protected person's home at 4pm on Friday.

    If the defendant goes to the protected person's house to pick up the children at 4pm on Friday then he or she will not be in breach of the AVO. But if the defendant goes to the house at any other time or breaches any other part of the AVO at 4pm on a Friday, for example by threatening the protected person, then there will be a breach.

    If you have parenting orders and an AVO, and you are not sure how they should work together, you should get legal advice.

    What happens if an AVO was made before a parenting order?

    When someone makes an application for parenting orders, the Federal Circuit Court - family law matters or the Family Court must be informed of any AVOs or any allegations of family violence.

    The court has to take into account any allegations of family violence when making orders about children. The definition of family violence is wide and includes any actual or threatened conduct by one person against another person that causes them to fear for their safety.

    All orders concerning children are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of the child. The most important consideration is that a child must be protected from harm or family violence. Children also have a right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents.

    The court has to ensure that parenting orders do not expose people to family violence. If a parenting order will be inconsistent with an AVO the Family Court must:

    • state what part is inconsistent
    • explain exactly how the children will spend time with the defendant
    • explain the order to everyone
    • send a copy to the police and the court that made the AVO.

    The parenting order will override the AVO where they are inconsistent.

    What happens if a parenting order was made before an AVO?

    For AVOs made before 3 December 2016

    An AVO can include additional orders to take into account parenting orders or the need for you to go to mediation to reach agreement about matters affecting your children.

    Additional order 5 states:

    5. The defendant must not approach or contact the protected person(s) by any means whatsoever, except through the defendant's legal representative or as agreed in writing or as permitted by an order or directions under the Family Law Act 1975, for the purpose of counselling, conciliation, or mediation.

    Additional order 6 states:

    6. The defendant must not approach or contact the protected person(s) by any means whatsoever, except through the defendant's legal representative or as authorised by a parenting order under the Family Law Act 1975 unless the parenting order has been varied, suspended or discharged under section 68R of the Family Law Act 1975.

    For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

    You should carefully consider whether you need additional order 5, additional order 6, or both. 

    If you do not know what to do you should get legal advice.

    The Local Court has the power to vary (change) a previous parenting order when it makes either a final or interim AVO. For example, if the defendant picks up the children from your home under the parenting order, the Local Court can grant an AVO that prevents the defendant from doing this and vary the parenting order so the children are picked up from somewhere else.

    If the Local Court does not vary the parenting order and you think the parenting orders should be changed, you may apply to the Federal Circuit Court - family law matters or the Family Court  to vary the parenting order. Before applying to the court, you should get legal advice.​

    For AVOs made after 3 December 2016

    An AVO can include additional orders to take into account parenting orders or the need for you to go to mediation to reach agreement about matters affecting your children.

    These orders are under the heading 'Orders about family law and parenting.'

    Order 6 states:

    You must not approach the protected person or contact her/him/them in any way, unless the contact is:
    A) through a lawyer, or
    B) to attend accredited or court-approved counselling, mediation  and/or conciliation, or
    C) as ordered by this or another court about contact with child/ren, or
    D) as agreed in writing between you and the parent(s) about contact with child/ren.

    This order may be customised to fit your situation. The court may use A, B, C or D and there is an alternative E that can also apply when someone other than a parent has parental responsibility. 

    For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

    If you do not understand your orders you should get legal advice.

    The Local Court has the power to vary a previous parenting order when it makes either a final or interim AVO. For example, if the children are picked up from the protected person's home under the parenting order, the Local Court can grant an AVO that prevents the defendant from going to the protected person's home and vary the parenting order so the children are picked up from somewhere else.

    If the Local Court does not vary the parenting order and you think the parenting orders should be changed, you may apply to the Federal Circuit Court - family law matters or the Family Court  to vary the parenting order. Before applying to the court, you should get legal advice.

    How do AVOs and parenting plans work together?

    ​For AVOs made before 3 December 2016 

    A parenting ​plan is a written agreement signed and dated by both parents that sets out a plan for the care of your children. A parenting plan is different from parenting orders as it is not a court order.

    A parenting plan does not override an AVO.

    If your AVO includes Order 5 (which refers to written agreements) then it may be possible to follow both the AVO and parenting plan.

    Order 5 says​:

    5. The defendant must not approach or contact the protected person(s) by any means whatsoever, except through the defendant's legal representative or as agreed in writing or as permitted by an order or directions under the Family Law Act 1975, for the purpose of counselling, conciliation, or mediation.​

    Even if an AVO includes Order 5, doing what is set out in a parenting plan may still be a breach of other orders in your AVO. If you are a protected person or defendant and you are unsure of the meaning of the orders in your AVO you should get legal advice.

    For AVOs made after 3 December 2016

    A parenting plan is a written agreement signed and dated by both parents that sets out a plan for the care of your children. A parenting plan is different from parenting orders as it is not a court order.

    A parenting plan does not override an AVO.

    If your AVO includes an order about family law and agreements in writing then it may be possible to follow both the AVO and parenting plan.

    Order 6 may say:

    You must not approach the protected people  or contact her/him/them in any way, unless the contact is:

    D) as agreed in writing between you and the parent(s) about contact with child/ren.​

    Even if an AVO includes this sort of order, doing what is set out in a parenting plan may still be a breach of other orders in your AVO. If you are a protected person or defendant and you are unsure of the meaning of the orders in your AVO you should get legal advice.​

    FAQs

    For answers to commonly asked questions, see Apprehended Violence Orders and Family Law - Frequently Asked Questions

    Two people arguing in a kitchen​​
     

    Further infor​​mation

    Family Law​​ Courts​Do you have fears for your safety when attending court?