Frequently in Family Law matters, a circumstance arises where one party fails to comply with, or abide by, Orders.

The Court imposes an onus on each party to comply with Orders, unless there is an agreement to vary or until the Orders are changed by the Court. Hence, any non-compliance or “breach” of Orders is taken very seriously.

In cases where a property agreement has been reached or made an Order by the Court, this can involve an application before a registrar to have documents signed on behalf of the “non-complying party”.  In addition, most Orders made have a provision for “default”, enabling, for example, the sale of the home or investment property if the other party fails to pay or remove the other party’s name from a mortgage.

In Parenting Orders, there are frequently issues with failure to attend, failure to comply and, for example, arriving late or early for changeovers.  In these cases the party alleging non-compliance can file an application for “contravention” of the Orders.

As a general rule contraventions are technically difficult legal arguments, and recent amendments to the legislation places an onus on the party bringing the contravention to set out or indicate what steps can be taken to assist to remedy the situation and prevent further occurrences.

If you want more information on applying for contravention of Court Orders ask our solicitors for further information and advice.

What if the Orders Simply Aren’t Working?

Orders can break down for a variety of reasons. The best starting point is usually to try and work out why and discuss it with the other person (provided that this is safe and productive).

Sometimes the problem is simply a different interpretation or understanding of the Order.  Such disagreements can usually be resolved by discussion and further information.

On other occasions difficulties arise because one person is simply not complying with the Orders.  Again, discussion, (whether directly between people, through mediation or some form of counselling), can often identify any genuine difficulties which can then be addressed to fix the problem and allow the Orders to work properly.