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In Australia, family court orders are legal directives issued by the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court to establish arrangements and obligations regarding various family matters, such as child custody, visitation, and financial support. When a court order is issued, both parties involved are legally bound to comply with its terms. However, there are instances where one party, including a mother, may choose not to comply with the family court order.father and son

The Family Law Act 1975 allows those who are accused of not following a court order to escape legal repercussions if they can provide a reasonable excuse. Section 70NAE states that the court will accept excuses such as not understanding the order, believing the actions were needed to ensure safety, and the duration of the violation being limited to the necessary time to protect a person or child.

If your ex-partner is not respecting or complying with the orders to your disadvantage, you should make an application to the court. The court may then take punitive action against the other parent for not adhering to the order.

This application for the breach of a parenting order must include a contravention application and an accompanying affidavit in support. Additionally, you will need either a certificate from a registered family dispute resolution practitioner or an ‘Affidavit – Non-Filing of Family Dispute Resolution Certificate’.

What Happens if you Breach Family Court Orders?

When a mother breaches a family court order in Australia, there can be serious consequences both legally and practically. Below is a list of legal consequences that can occur in such situations:

Legal Consequences

If a mother fails to comply with a family court order, the other party (typically the father) has the right to file a contravention application with the court. The court will then assess the breach and decide on the appropriate action. Possible legal consequences may include:

  • Fines: The court can impose fines on the non-compliant party. The amount of the fine will depend on the severity of the breach and the circumstances involved.
  • Compensatory Orders: The court may order the non-compliant party to compensate the other party for any financial loss or expenses incurred as a result of the breach.
  • Variation of Orders: In some cases, if the breach is significant, the court may consider altering the existing orders to ensure compliance or to better serve the best interests of the children involved.
  • Community Service Orders: In certain situations, the court may order the non-compliant party to perform community service as a form of punishment for the breach.
  • Imprisonment: In extreme cases where there is a repeated and intentional breach of court orders, the court may consider imprisonment as a last resort. However, this is usually a rare occurrence and is typically reserved for the most severe and repeated breaches.
  • Impact on Custody and Visitation: If a mother consistently fails to comply with family court orders, it can have a significant impact on future custody and visitation arrangements. The court may view the non-compliance as evidence that the mother is not acting in the best interests of the child, which can influence future decisions regarding custody and visitation rights.
  • Loss of Trust and Co-Parenting Challenges: Breaching family court orders can erode trust between the parties and create significant challenges in co-parenting. It may lead to increased conflict, strained relationships, and difficulties in resolving future disputes through mediation or negotiation.
  • Legal Costs: If the parting responding to a contravene application is unsuccessful, then they are required to pay the other sides legal costs. Such cost orders could be

Each case is unique, and the consequences for breaching the orders can vary based on the specific circumstances and the court’s assessment. Family courts always prioritise the best interests of the child when making decisions related to breaches and enforcement of court orders. Accordingly, it is important for a mother to not contravene the order and to follow the parental plan or consent orders.

When a mother is not following court orders concerning parenting arrangements, it is essential to be aware of your legal rights. Lyons Law Group can provide assistance to make the process simpler. Our flat fee pricing for family law gives you an idea of costs up front, and our knowledgeable family lawyers can make the experience more positive. Reach out to one of our child custody lawyer from Lyons Law Group today to get in touch with a friendly lawyer.

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