An ADVO states three conditions, otherwise known as the mandatory conditions, that will always be included to prohibit the following behaviours:
- assaulting, molesting, harassing, threatening or interfering with you;
- intimidating you; and
- stalking you.
These conditions protect you and anyone that you are in a domestic relationship with, i.e. who are currently living with you. This includes new partners, children and anyone else you live with. You can also ask that your children be named and included as protected persons on your ADVO.
Extra conditions may be included in the ADVO to protect you and prohibit the defendant from:
- approaching you;
- approaching or entering places where you may live, work or go to;
- approaching you after they have consumed alcohol or taken illegal drugs;
- damaging your property; and
- any other conditions as agreed by both parties or decided by the court.
If you have children in your care, they should be included on the ADVO unless there are good reasons not to.
You should discuss with the police and/or your court support worker any conditions you need to protect you and your children.
If I am a tenant, can I stay living at the property and have the abusive partner removed?
People who are living with an abusive partner in rental accommodation and want to leave the relationship may want to either stay in the property and exclude the abusive partner or leave the property without paying a penalty for breaking their lease.
Both of these options may be available, but the issues involved are complex and depend on what type of tenancy agreement you have and whether there is an ADVO against the abusive partner.
If I am an owner-occupier of my home, can I stay living in my home and have the abusive partner removed?
Generally, both you and your ex-partner are entitled to live in your home after you separate. However, you can apply for an exclusion order as part of an application for an ADVO to exclude the abusive partner from the family home.
If there is violence or you fear violence, it may be possible to obtain a sole occupancy order in the family law courts without getting an ADVO. This order will mean that you can live in the house without the abusive partner until the property is divided. In making an order, a court will consider the needs of both parties and any children.
If you want to apply for an exclusion order or sole occupancy order, you should obtain legal advice.
Ancillary Property Recovery Orders
If the ADVO excludes the abusive partner from the property, they may be provided an opportunity to collect their personal belongings. Similarly, if the PINOP vacates the property and is staying somewhere else, they may be provided an opportunity to collect their personal belongings from their previous residence.
When the court considers the ADVO application they can decide whether to make an Ancillary Property Recovery Order to allow an individual (either the defendant or the PINOP) to collect their personal property.
The person with an Ancillary Property Recovery Order will need to make suitable arrangements with the police in order to collect their property. The court may also order that the police are to accompany the person when collecting their property. Police can usually allocate 30 minutes to 1 hour to assist with recovering property.
The law treats pets as property and they may be included in an Ancillary Property Recovery Order. When abusive partners are collecting their property as part of an ancillary property recovery order they may try to take or harm the pet. If the pet belongs to you or you are concerned for the pet’s safety and well-being, contact the RSPCA’s Safe Beds for Pets Program to place your pet in temporary housing while you escape the violence.