An Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) is an order that is aimed at protecting a person from another person.
An AVO specifies what the Defendant (the person who is the one being restricted) can and cannot do towards the protected person. If there are restraints on contacting the protected person, depending on the wording you may need to have all communication go through a solicitor.
This is difficult if you need to contact the protected person outside of business hours for changeover arrangements and the like.
Family Court Orders can override an AVO but this is only done in certain circumstances. It is always wise to strictly adhere to any restrictions placed on you. Breaches of an AVO can lead to gaol time if the breach is considered serious enough. This is happening more and more easily these days.
In a recent case a father had an AVO against him that specified that he was not to contact the mother in any circumstances. However, the Family Court had ordered that he could do so in the event of an emergency. The Court found that the Family Court Order was the one that should be complied with. The mother was running late for changeover for the child and called the father. A few text messages occurred between the mother and the father about where and when pick up would be. The mother complained that there was a breach of both orders. However, the Court found that the incident was indeed an emergency and not a breach of the Family Court Orders.
This case must not be considered as the normal as each case is considered on the particular facts. It is always advisable to strictly adhere to an AVO but if there are Family Court Orders in place then you should seek legal advice on what behaviour will be considered a breach of either order.
If you need legal advice in relation to Family Law issues or an Apprehended Violence Order, call Brazel Moore Lawyers on 02 43 24 7699.