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What Happens When You Break Family Court Orders?

Break Family Court Orders | Justice Family Lawyers

The Courts have to ensure that their decisions are enforced and are never happy when you break family court orders.

Contravening, or ‘breaching’ a Family Law Court Order is a serious matter and the Family Court of Australia can impose upon the offender a fitting punishment.

Consequences of Ignoring Existing Court Orders

If a court order is ignored, under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), there are several penalties available to punish the party who is found to have contravened Court Orders.

The Court may make an order:

  1. That varies an existing order; or
  2. Resumes the arrangements set out in an earlier order; or
  3. Compensates a person for lost contact time with a child or puts the offending party on notice that if they continually refuse to comply, they will be punished.

The Court may also choose to create entirely new Orders which provide for different arrangements.

Often, these provide greater certainty that the Orders will be complied with.

Ignored Court Order Punishment Options

If you are not seeking punishment for the offending party and simply want a quick remedy to ensure the resumption of earlier arrangements, it may be possible to file an ‘Application in a Case’ rather than an ‘Application – Contravention’.

The Court also has the power to impose a more serious order such as a good behaviour bond, community service, major fine, or imprisonment.

Also read: How To Report A Breach Of Family Court Order in Australia

Reasonable Excuse to Ignore Family Court Orders

ignoring a Family Court order is still considered a serious offense even with an excuse. However, the court may consider a “reasonable excuse” when determining the consequences of non-compliance.

Here are situations that might be considered reasonable excuses:

  • Genuine misunderstanding: If you can demonstrably prove you genuinely didn’t understand your obligations under the order, the court may be lenient. This could involve seeking legal clarification or having language barriers play a role.
  • Protecting health or safety: If you believed, in good faith, that following the order would put yourself, the child, or another person at risk of harm, the court might consider it a reasonable excuse. However, this would require evidence to support your belief and demonstrating you took alternative steps to address the safety concerns.
  • Unforeseen circumstancesUnforeseen and unavoidable circumstances beyond your control could be considered. This might include sudden illness, natural disasters, or critical events preventing you from fulfilling the order.

It’s important to understand:

  • The burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate the existence and reasonableness of your excuse.
  • Simply disagreeing with the order or finding it inconvenient doesn’t constitute a reasonable excuse.
  • Consulting a lawyer is highly recommended to navigate the legal complexities and understand if your situation might fall under a reasonable excuse.

Remember, even with a potential excuse, it’s crucial to seek legal advice and explore alternative solutions rather than simply ignoring the order. The court prioritizes the best interests of the child and may take necessary actions to protect them.

Also read: How do court-ordered drug tests work?

If a Court Order is Ignored What Happens?

Ignoring a court order can lead to severe consequences, including fines, penalties, or even imprisonment. At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand the gravity of your situation and are committed to providing expert legal guidance to help you navigate the complexities of family law.

Don’t risk your future by navigating this alone. Contact us today to ensure your rights are protected and to secure the best possible outcome for your case. Your peace of mind is our priority.

6 thoughts on “What Happens When You Break Family Court Orders?”

  1. Yes yes, one would think there’s actually some degree of ethics involved in what’s written here. However, one has to understand that all those decisions the court makes are entirely based around gender. And gender of not only the parent but the child as well. Breaching a court order for example is far more serious for a father than a mother. Mothers get to use all manner of excuses. Fathers don’t. Don’t be fooled into thinking decisions are based on the welfare of the child either. The courts are there to supposedly balance the coffers. But they fail dismally.

    1. Hi David. On the contrary, this case is an example of when a father received the support of the court on the original decision, and in appeal. In my experience, the courts do not look at gender and make an attempt to resolve matters in a child-focused approach..

  2. So how were the orders actually changed? What was the penalty applied, in addition to the changing of orders?

    1. Yes the orders were changed and the mother had to pay the father’s costs for the original application and the appeal.

      The new order in place was that, if the mother decided to stay relocated, she would receive the child on alternate weekends. If she returned back to the same location as the father, it would be a week on week off arrangement.

  3. Yep and until the biase stops and actual real gender equality happens and the father get fairness then realistically 1 case in a thousand dont count for squat. The system is not fair and is extremely biased. Nothing will and fathers will continuesly get screwed

  4. Your not wrong there Andrew your spot on. The court doesnt give a crap about the male. My ex told the judge that she was breaching cause she didnt want the children to speak to the father myself. Then the judge the crumb scum turns and says to me to pay 3600 of my exs court costs because i did a contravention application. Like WTF your kidding me. Yep thats what i had to do. Its the biggest corrupt co operation with its ABN number that i have ever come across. They dont practice law they run a child destruction clinic. Scum of the earth that forces a human to be homeless and no inheritance ever left for any child. Dogs scum filthy disgusting child abusing family court.

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