A Family Law Court can respond in several ways when a parent disobeys an order involving children. This article explains what happens when a parenting order is contravened.
Parents who divorce or separate may need a Family Law Court to enter a parenting order. The order gives one or both parents the authority to make decisions about the child’s life. It also specifies which parent the child will live with and when the other parent will have contact with the child. Parenting orders sometimes include additional terms regarding the interaction of parents with their children.
A reasonable attempt to comply with the order means taking all reasonable steps to follow the order. For instance, if the order provides that a child will spend weekends with his father and the child is reluctant to do so, the mother must encourage the child to go with the father.
Parents are required to obey parenting orders. The response to a breach of a parenting order will depend upon the nature of the breach.
If a parent fails to return a child to the other parent as the order requires and there is reason to fear that the child has been abducted, a family law registry can provide information about obtaining emergency assistance from the court.
If there is no need for urgent action, parents are required to use a dispute resolution process to try to resolve their differences. A parent can only apply to the court for assistance if dispute resolution fails.
The court will not sanction a parent for contravening a parenting order if that parent had a reasonable excuse. Reasonable excuses might include:
Courts have a range of responses that they can use if a parent contravenes a parenting order. They include ordering a parent to:
A lawyer can help you if you need to file a contravention application with the court.