How to get an ADVO dismissed

Couple on couch getting an ADVO dismissed

If you’ve been served an ADVO (apprehended domestic violence order (or ‘intervention order’ (IVO)) deciding what to do next can be stressful and difficult – especially if it happens during a relationship breakdown. However, there are a few ways you can move forward and possibly even remove the restrictions of the ADVO. 

To make this difficult time easier for you we’ve taken a closer look at the steps required to have an ADVO dismissed.

What is an ADVO?

An ADVO or IVO is a court order that places restrictions on a partner in a domestic relationship (the defendant) who has allegedly been violent or abusive towards the other (the protected person). ADVOs do not require defendants to attend counselling or mediation, they are intended only to stop that person from being violent towards the other, visiting their home or damaging their property. 

ADVOs can only be served to you by someone you are, or have been, in a domestic relationship with. This could include a family member, a de-facto partner, a spouse, or even a flatmate. 

To be served an ADVO violence has to be reported to the police (who then make the application on the protected person’s behalf) or an application can be made at the local courthouse by the protected person. Most ADVO applications are made by the police.

How to get an ADVO dismissed

In some circumstances you may be able to get an ADVO dismissed if you feel that it has been served unfairly. Here are your options:

  1. Protected person withdraws the ADVO

If the ADVO was made by the protected person directly to the court (and not by the police) it can be withdrawn by them. This is the easiest, quickest and least costly option but it is not available to the majority of defendants.

If you’d like to get an ADVO dismissed in this way, it may be a good idea to engage a professional mediator to help you work out your disagreement with the protected person. It’s important that you do not breach the terms of the AVDO in the process. 

  1. Oppose the ADVO

At your ADVO hearing you’ll get a chance to speak to the magistrate and explain why the order is unfair. The court will then adjourn to another date and you’ll have the chance to seek advice from a solicitor before returning. 

It’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced local family lawyer at this stage to ensure that you have the best possible chance of achieving the resolution you want. 

In order to successfully defend the ADVO one or all of the following must occur:

  • You prove that the allegations made against you are baseless and that there is not sufficient evidence to prove them.
  • The protected person testifies that they do not hold fear of you / does not fear that you will commit violence against them. 
  • The court decides that the ADVO orders are not necessary for the protection of the protected person.

The ADVO may also be dismissed if the protected person fails to show up in court, or fails to comply with court orders. 

Couple on couch disagreeing and getting an ADVO dismissed
  1. Negotiating with an undertaking

Negotiating with an undertaking is when both parties agree to drop the ADVO with the condition that the defendant must provide a written contract in which they agree to comply with the ADVO orders. 

This may be a smart way to avoid entering the court system and reach a resolution without incurring significant legal costs.

Defend yourself against an ADVO

If you’ve been served with an ADVO that you believe is unfair or unjustified there are ways to defend yourself. To get started contact the team at Testart Family Lawyers and book your first appointment free.

We’ve got decades of experience with ADVOs and would love to help you reach a fair resolution.