What happens if Family Court Orders are breached?
Normally if Family Court Orders are breached, a party to the Orders can file what is called a ‘contravention application‘.
Evidence will need to be presented to the Court of the breach and the person who is believed to be in breach of the orders will then need to file a Response. A Response is a document which will put forth the reasons for the breach.
If the Court decides that the reason for the breach was reasonable then the person believed to be in breach of the orders will be found ‘not guilty’ and no further action is required.
However, if the court finds that there was a breach with no reasonable excuse, the court has the power to issue the following penalties –
- A Fine; or
- A Good Behaviour Bond; or
- Gaol time (in most extreme cases).
If a person is found guilty, they may also be ordered to pay the legal costs of the other party.
Filing an Application for Contravention can be an expensive exercise and a lot of people cannot afford to pay.
In cases involving children, mild illness is not usually a reasonable excuse for a breach, nor is a child simply not wanting to go.
If Court Orders are continually breached then a Court may find you in contempt of the court and require you to serve gaol time.
In a recent case of ‘Faukland & Shikia’, the husband was to serve a term of imprisonment for 3 months in respect of each of the two counts of contempt. The contempt of court was a breach of an order by selling a ‘prestige’ car and spending the sale proceeds of $90,000.00 on ‘gambling and drugs’. It was then ordered that he identify the buyer and deliver up the vehicle. He did not do either. He was sentenced to 6 months gaol for both.
The Court takes breaches of orders very seriously. You must ensure that you have a reasonable excuse for doing so and always seek legal advice from an experienced Family Lawyer.
If you have a Family Law issue, call Ruth Single on 4324 7699 for a free confidential chat on the phone.