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    Injunctions and Restraints

    You may find yourself in a situation where you need to take immediate action to protect yourself, your children or your property.

    Whether it is preventing the sale of assets, preserving the balance of your bank accounts, or your children are at risk of harm, the key is to identify the risk and act immediately.

    The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia may be able to issue a personal protection order where there is or has been family violence, even where a police officer refuses to issue an apprehended domestic violence order for your or your children’s protection.

    At Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators, our team of family law specialists are experts at identifying what you should do and how to respond.

    What is an injunction?

    An injunction refers to an order that has been issued by the court to protect a person by restricting another person’s behaviour, or requiring them to take a certain action.

    Injunctions can be sought in relation to:

    • Personal protection
    • Property matters
    • Protecting the welfare of a child

    What is an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order?

    In NSW, an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (AVO) is an order issued by the magistrates court to protect a person from another individual’s unwanted conduct such as intimidation, harassment, physical violence, stalking and property damage.

    At the discretion of the court, such an order may carry additional conditions such as preventing a party from entering the former matrimonial home or coming within a certain distance of the other person’s work or residence.

    AVO’s are often referred to as ‘restraining orders’ because they issue restraint provisions over one party (the defendant) by the other party seeking injunctive relief (‘the protected person’).

    AVOs in Australia

    Importantly, while the names of these injunctions tend to differ between states and territories (e.g. WA refers to it as a Family Violence Restraining Order), it is now law that all AVOs made since 25 November 2017 will be recognised across all Australian jurisdictions.

    Two types of AVOs are available in NSW:

    Apprehended Domestic Violence Order 

    An Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) may be brought forward when the individuals involved:

    • Are related
    • Are in an intimate or marital relationship (or have previously been so)
    • Are living together (or have previously been so)
    • Are in a dependent care arrangement (or have previously been so)
    • Are living in the same residential facility
    • Share kin or extended family (in the case of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people)

    Apprehended Personal Violence Order

    An Apprehended Personal Violence Order (APVO) may be brought forward when the individuals involved are not related and do not share a domestic relationship (e.g. neighbours).

    Children Listed on AVOs

    Where children of the person in need of protection are involved in the domestic and family violence incident, it is encouraged to list them on the AVO. This ensures that all the conditions that are contained within the order apply to the child as well as the person in need of protection.

    Protecting Property With an Injunction

    It’s not uncommon in the course of hostile property settlements that one party will seek to dispose of property from the relationship to prevent the other party from receiving a fair share of the asset pool.

    In the event of this, there are legal avenues you may take to safeguard yourself and your property. Section 114 of the Family Law Act permits the court to grant an injunction restraining your former partner from selling or otherwise disposing of assets of the relationship. In certain cases, the court may even be able to reserve a transaction that has already been carried out.

    Here When You Need Us

    If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic or family violence, the team at Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators is here to help you take back control of your life.

    We understand how difficult it can be to seek help for domestic and family violence. If you require assistance, please contact us on (02) 9929 8840 to arrange a confidential consultation.