Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) should never be considered in isolation, as it usually has indirect consequences on the plaintiff’s life, and may also impact the plaintiff’s Family law, Immigration, and Employment matters.
An ADVO is primarily taken out for the protection of spousal parties and their children (PINOP), and the mandatory orders are often consented to by the plaintiff, on a without admission basis, as Final Orders, in order to save legal costs, defending it.
In most situations, an ADVO event will give rise to the breakdown of the relationship and if there are children involved, then the ADVO incident will play a vital role in respect to parenting matters. The best interest of the child is of paramount consideration and often one parent tends to rely upon the ADVO incident to restrict the other parent’s contact time with the child. The ADVO incident may compel the court to consider that the presumption has in fact been rebutted and equal shared parental responsibility may not apply. The weight that should be given to the ADVO incident, and the impact it may have on parenting matters, will only be determined once the matter is heard and determined by the Court. In the meantime, the ADVO consented to by a parent, on a without admission basis, will be relied upon by the other parent, in support of safety measures put in place to ensure that the child is not at risk or harm’s way to err on the side of caution, pending the matter being heard and determined by the court. The reality of the matter is that the ADVO, though not contested, will be relied upon by the protected parent forcing the other parent, limited contact time or supervised contact time with the child, following separation up until the matter is heard by the court, on an urgent basis or on an interim basis.
In immigration matters, if the plaintiff is a permanent resident of Australia and will be applying for the citizenship in the future, then the ADVO may impact the grant of his/her citizenship. Section 21(2)(h) of the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 (Cth) provides that a person is eligible to become an Australian citizen if the Minister is satisfied, inter alia, that the person “is of good character at the time of the Minister’s decision on the Application”. The Act does not specify the meaning of the words “good character”. However, there is strong authority supporting the idea that the phrase should be used in its ordinary sense. That is, it is a reference to “the enduring moral qualities of a person, and not to the good standing, fame or repute of that person in the community”. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has clearly and consistently emphasised that domestic violence is contrary to the values of Australian Society.
In the case of Karatunov and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  AATA 132, Senior Member T Tavoularis affirmed the delegates decision not to grant the applicant citizenship on the ground that the delegate was not satisfied that the Applicant met the “good character” requirement. Senior Member Tavoularis held at  “this DVO was made without admissions pursuant to s 51(1)(c) of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (Qld). The central tenet of this submission was that the making of the DVO without admissions constituted no finding of domestic violence by the court. I have difficulty in seriously entertaining such a submission. To do so, would render the DVO nonsensical and without legal foundation. The point is that a DVO was made upon certain allegations and circumstances presented to the Court that, in turn, duly convinced it to make that order. Whether or not the allegations and circumstances giving rise to the DVO were either vigorously contested or otherwise consented to by the Applicant (on whatever basis) is of no concern to the Tribunal for present purposes. The point is that the DVO was made”.
Tribunal Member R Maguire affirmed the above position in respect to Domestic Violence Order made on a without admission basis in the case of Singh and Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (Citizenship)  AATA 3093 and similarly affirmed the delegates refusal of grant of citizenship to the applicant considering “the good character” requirement as one of the grounds for the refusal.
In employment matters, if the plaintiff requires a ‘Working with Children Check’ as part of his/her employment, then the ADVO may impact him/her in obtaining the clearance if the children are protected persons included in the ADVO. Further, if the plaintiff requires or holds a ‘Firearms licence’ as part of his/her employment, then the ADVO may impact on his/her ability to obtain or maintain the Firearms licence, as the case maybe.
Therefore, it is advisable to seek legal advice prior to consenting to an ADVO as it may impact on other aspects of your life.
Longton Legal practices in various areas of law and if you have concerns about an ADVO or how it may impact on your other matters, please feel free to contact Longton Legal for an obligation free discussion.
*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice before taking any course of action.*
Nakil Navinesh Prasad
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