A respondent may contact an applicant notwithstanding the existence of the AVO when the contact is for any purpose permitted by an order or direction under the FLA as to counselling, conciliation or mediation, or when the contact is for arranging or exercising contact with children as agreed in writing or as authorised by an order or a registered parenting plan under the FLA.
It is imperative that both parties are aware that AVO’s do not automatically prohibit or inhibit contact orders. An applicant does not have the “right” to refuse contact between a party and a child which is required under an order of the Family Court simply because there is an enforceable AVO in place.
An AVO does not override an order of the Family Court. These orders can act symbiotically. However, the wording of the AVO should be considered to ensure that by adhering to an order of the Family Court, a party is not breaching the terms of an AVO. Both orders should be simultaneously considered to ensure that they do not contradict each other.
Further, a defendant is not prohibited from attending contact with children due to the imposition of an enforceable AVO. A defendant should ensure that the precise wording of both orders is considered before making contact with either children or the other party.
You should ensure that the court is aware of the terms of an AVO when making residency and contact orders and alternatively, that the court is aware of the terms of contact and residency orders when imposing an AVO.