Family law matters’ stress and dire circumstances can often result in tensions getting high amongst former partners. Unfortunately, this sometimes means one partner may act uncharacteristically abusive or violent towards their former spouse. The result is an AVO being taken out against them for an action which is commonly a momentary lapse in judgement.
This article aims to identify all the possible scenarios regarding how to get an AVO dropped, which may be relevant to your circumstances.
What is AVO?
The term ‘AVO’ stands for ‘Apprehended Violence Order’, and if you are served with one, you will be required to appear in court.
An AVO can be either a private AVO or a police AVO. There are considered civil proceedings in court. However, a breach of an AVO is regarded as a criminal offence that will attract criminal proceedings.
Consequences Of An AVO
An AVO prohibits or restricts someone from contacting or from doing certain things to the person who requires protection (or the ‘protected person’) in the AVO. In NSW, This is achieved by the terms of the AVO conditions.
However, having an AVO in place against you will have some consequences beyond the requirements of simply having to refrain from contacting or coming close to your former spouse. For instance, family court proceedings in child custody disputes, working with children clearance checks required for specific workplaces, firearms licences/permits, and even tenancy agreements can all be negatively impacted due to the AVO.
The Ways To Get An AVO Dropped
So onto ‘How to get an AVO dropped?’ – An AVO may be dropped or dismissed in court in multiple ways:
Successfully defending an AVO in court: The court will dismiss an AVO if it believes that on the balance of probabilities (whether it is more likely than not), either applicant has no reasonable basis to fear and does not fear the defendant committing a personal violence offence or intimidating or stalking conduct
If the court forms the view that the AVO orders are not necessary for the protection and safety of the person protected by the AVO.
Negotiating with undertaking: This is the ideal outcome. In this situation, parties will agree to drop the AVO contingent on the defendant covering to provide a signed and dated written undertaking to abide by the same order/conditions provided in the AVO. This undertaking is not legally enforceable or court-ordered, and a breach will not necessarily result in criminal charges.
However, the undertaking can be relied upon later to take out another AVO if the defendant breaches it.
Negotiating without undertaking: In this situation, the defendant’s lawyer writes to the opposing side, highlighting the inconsistencies and holes in their evidence with an offer not to seek the defendant’s legal costs if the avo is withdrawn.
The ‘protected person’ does not hold any fears: In the event, the ‘protected person’ provides evidence in court that they have no fear of the defendant, the court may dismiss the AVO. This does not apply if there are children included in the AVO.
Baseless allegations: The court can dismiss an AVO if it is convincingly shown that the evidence to prove the allegations is insufficient.
The other side does not comply with court orders: In the event, the other side (police or protected person) fails to comply with the court orders to serve their evidence on time, the court can dismiss the AVO.
The other party fails to appear in court: If the person protected by the avo does not appear in court on the hearing day, the court can dismiss the AVO.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
It is important to note when dealing with your former spouse to always remain calm and respectful despite how ugly and emotional the situation may get. One error in judgement can result in doing something which can have grave consequences for you and your children.
If you have any questions on how to get an AVO dropped or any other family law matters, do not hesitate to contact our firm.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves in making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Please get in touch with JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers for any further enquiries on how to get an AVO dropped.
If you have any more questions about how to get an AVO dropped or any other family law matters, check out some of our other informative articles.