​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

Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

Apprehended Violence Orders and Family Law

If you and the other party have a child together, you will need to think about how an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) will work with any orders or agreements about your child.

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

This section has information about:

    ​How do ​Apprehended Violence Orders and parenting orders work together?

    Parenting orders are orders made by a court about the arrangements for the care of a child. They can be made by the Local Court, Federal Circuit Court or Family Court. 

    If there is an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) and a family law parenting order, the parenting order will override the AVO if the orders say different things. 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 Apprehended Violence Order was made before a parenting order?

    When a person applies for parenting orders, they must tell the Court about any Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs) or any allegations of family violence relating to their child or a member of the child's family.

    From 28 March 2020, this information must be included in an application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) under the heading 'Further information about the relationship between the applicant and the defendant'. 

    The Court must take into account any allegations of family violence when making orders about a child because it must ensure that the orders will not expose the child or another person to family violence.

    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.

    If the Court makes a parenting order that is inconsistent with an AVO, it 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 overlap.

    What happens if a parenting order was made before an Apprehended Violence Order?

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

    When deciding whether to make an AVO, the Court must consider: 

    • the safety and protection of the protected person and any child directly or indirectly affected by domestic or personal violence
    • how an AVO would affect contact between the protected person or the defendant and any child of either of those persons
    • any parenting orders. 

    The Court can make an interim or final AVO that includes additional orders to take into account parenting orders or the need for you to go to mediation to reach an agreement about the care of your child. 

    The Court can also revive, vary, discharge or suspend a parenting order when it makes a final AVO. It can only do this if it is given new information that the family court didn’t have when it the made parenting order. 

    The Court can’t change a parenting order when it makes an interim AVO. 

    If the Court doesn’t vary the parenting order(s) and you want the parenting order(s) to be changed, you may be able to apply to the Court for a variation. Before applying to the Court, you should get legal advice.

    Additional orders about Family Law in Apprehended Violence Orders made before 3 December 2016

    Before 3 December 2016, there were two additional orders relating to Family Law:

    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.

    Additional Orders about Family Law in Apprehended Violence Orders made after 3 December 2016

    After 3 December 2016, these orders are under the heading 'Orders about family law and parenting.'

    Order 6 states:

    6. 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.

    E) as agreed in writing between the defendant, the parent(s) and the person with parental responsbility for the child/children about contact with the child/children. 

    Note. Order 6(e) is an alternative to order 6(d). 

    This order may be customised to fit your situation.

    For more information, see Mandatory and additional orders.

    If you don't understand your orders you should get legal advice.

    How do Apprehended Violence Orders and parenting plans work together?

    A parenting plan is a written agreement signed and dated by both parents that sets out the parenting arrangements for their child. 

    A parenting plan is not a legally enforceable agreement. You can’t be punished by the Court for not following the terms of a parenting plan. 

    A parenting plan doesn’t override an Apprehended Violence Order (AVO).

    If you have an AVO that is inconsistent with your parenting plan, you must follow the AVO. If you don’t, you may be charged with an offence. 

    If your AVO includes an order about family law and a parenting agreement in writing, you may be able to follow the AVO and the parenting plan. If you don’t understand how your AVO affects your parenting plan, you should get legal advice. 

    You can apply to the Court to have your parenting plan made into parenting orders. If the Court makes parenting orders, the parenting orders will override the AVO where they overlap. 

    ​Parenting plans and AVOs made before 3 December 2016 

    If your AVO was made before 3 December 2016 it may include Order 5, which 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.​

    If your AVO includes this order, you should get legal advice about whether you can still follow your parenting plan.

    Parenting plans and AVOs made after 3 December 2016

    If your AVO was made after 3 December 2016 it may include Order 6 under the heading 'Orders about family law and parenting', which says:

    6. 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.​

    If your AVO includes this order, you should get legal advice about whether you can still follow your parenting plan.​

    Frequently Asked Questions

    For more information, see Apprehended Violence Orders and Family Law - Frequently Asked Questions

    Two people arguing in a kitchen​​

    Further infor​​mation

    Family Court of Australia - Do you have fears for your safety when attending court?