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What Happens If I Don’t Follow A Family Court Order?

What happens if I don’t follow a Family Court Order?

A contravention is where you intentionally fail to comply with a Court Order or make no reasonable attempt to comply with a Court Order.

There is scope for you to argue that you had a reasonable excuse to contravene an Order of the Court. Please see Section 70NAE of the Family Law Act 1975, found here.

This article deals with (by slightly simplifying the law) what happens if you do not have a reasonable excuse.

If it is the first occasion on which you have contravened an Order of the Court, the Court may:

  • require you to attend a post-separation parenting program;
  • if the contravention is a contravention of a parenting order, make an order compensating a person for the time they did not spend with the child because of the contravention and/or compensate you for any expenses incurred because of the contravention;
  • adjourn the proceedings to allow a party to apply for a further Order or variation of the Order;
  • require you to enter into a bond or if you fail to enter a bond, fine you up to 10 penalty units. Each penalty unit is $110;
  • make an Order that you pay some or all of the other parties’ legal costs of having to bring the Contravention before the Court.

If this is the second or subsequent time you have contravened an Order of the Court, the Court may:

  • if the contravention is a contravention of a parenting order, make an order compensating a person for the time they did not spend with the child because of the contravention and/or compensate you for any expenses incurred because of the contravention;
  • adjourn the proceedings to allow a party to apply for a further Order or variation of the Order;
  • make an Order that you participate in community service;
  • require you to enter into a bond;
  • fine you up to 60 penalty units. Each penalty unit is $110;
  • impose a sentence of imprisonment on you.
  • make an Order that you pay some or all of the other parties legal costs of having to bring the Contravention before the Court.

The obligation to comply with Court Orders is a positive one. Failing to comply and/or making no reasonable attempt to comply with an Order of the Court is a serious issue. If you have contravened an Order of the Court and have a reasonable excuse, or if you have a spouse who is contravening an Order of the Court, call Catherine Henry Lawyers on 4929 3995 today to speak with one of our family lawyers.

 

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