What happens if I dont follow Family Court Orders

What will happen if I don’t follow Court Orders?

If you are not complying with Orders made by the Court regarding your children, the other party may bring a Contravention Application before the Court.

What are the consequences of my actions?

Not complying with Orders can have several consequences so it is important that you understand the implications of your actions and how they impact your future.

To be penalised by the Court, the Court has to find that you either:

  • Intentionally failed to comply with the Order;
  • Made no reasonable attempt to comply with the Order;
  • Intentionally prevented compliance with the Order; or
  • Aided or abetted a contravention of the Order.

After hearing the matter, the Court will then come to one of 4 conclusions:

  • The alleged contravention was not adequately proven;
  • The contravention was proven but you had a reasonable excuse;
  • There was a less serious contravention without a reasonable excuse; or
  • There was a more serious contravention without a reasonable excuse.

But what if I have a reasonable excuse for contravening Orders?

The other party will need to show the Court that you are more likely to have breached the Orders than to have followed them. You will need to show the Court that you had a reasonable excuse for not following the Orders which may be because, for example, you were protecting your child’s safety.

If the Court finds that you have contravened a Court Order without a reasonable excuse, the Court may impose one of the below consequences:

  • Changing, suspending or discharging the primary order;
  • Ordering both parties to go to a post-separation parenting program;
  • Requiring you to enter into a bond;
  • Ordering you to pay some or all of the other party’s legal costs;
  • Ordering you to pay compensation for expenses lost due to the order breach;
  • Requiring you to partake in community service;
  • Ordering the payment of a fine; or
  • Ordering a prison sentence.

As you can see there are varying degrees of consequences based on the Courts judgment of your contravening actions. But it is important to understand that you may be facing one of these penalties if the other party is successful in their application.

Our number one top tip is that if you have an issue with a current Order then seek legal advice before taking any steps to contravene the Orders. It is important that you speak with one of our experienced Family Lawyers who can give you advice and options on how to alter the Orders or best manage the situation.

All you need to do is make one simple phone call to (08) 7001 6135 and we will handle the rest

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