Sometimes in family law, an unfavourable result for one parent will result in family court orders not being followed by them. It is important to remember in such a situation that court orders are legally binding and should be followed – so you should not sleep on your legal entitlements in such a situation.
The following article will discuss the various situations where family court orders are not being followed and what you can and should do about it.
Situations Where Family Court Orders Are Not Being Followed
The most frequent instances of family court orders being not followed are related to failures to attend and comply. These failures encapsulate situations such as not arriving on time to changeovers or not at all. The party who alleges that the family court orders are not being followed can apply to the court for a contravention of the orders.
Here are some additional situations of family court orders not being followed:
- Not complying with the orders in general.
- Not making a reasonable attempt to follow the orders.
- Intentionally preventing the other parent from complying with the orders.
- Aiding or abetting an infringement of the order by a person bound by the order.
Is There A Good Reason For The Family Court Orders Not Being Followed?
There are some situations where it is acceptable for family court orders not to be followed. These circumstances must amount to a ‘reasonable excuse’ for the court to consider them acceptable.
Here are some examples of such circumstances:
- When the party not following the family court orders did so by a genuine mistake because they did not understand what the orders required of them
- Where the party who breached the order genuinely believed they had to, to either protect themselves or the safety of their children.
Family Court Orders Not Possible To Follow?
Sometimes, the family court orders in place may no longer be practical or even possible to follow as your circumstances may have changed since they were made. This is a typical situation; however, simply not following the family court orders without indicating to your former partner is the incorrect decision in this scenario. Undertaking this course of action can result in unnecessary stress and are grounds for taking action against you in court.
In such a situation, you should contact your former partner and aim to resolve the matter amicably if possible. If this is not possible, a mediation session would be ideal for helping identify any issues and difficulties in the lack of compliance and find a resolution to these issues.
What To Do When A Parenting Order Is Breached
If one parent’s actions result in family court orders not being followed, the parent who is aggrieved by their actions may file for a breach of a parenting order.
Secondly, a certificate is required from a registered family dispute practitioner or an Affidavit – Non-filing of Family Dispute Resolution Certificate.
What If The Other Parent Takes Our Child Without Permission?
Taking a child without permission is a severe incident of family court orders not being followed.
If the other parent does not have an AVO preventing them from contacting the child or yourself and is not dangerous, do not call the police just yet. You should first try and contact them and discuss the matter and the repercussions of their actions amicably. If they do not comply, try getting a mutual friend or a family member of theirs to reach out on your behalf. If this also yields no results, your last course of action before getting the police involved would be to have a family lawyer reach out on your behalf to discuss with them the consequences of their actions informally.
If none of these suggestions works, your following action should be to call the police to apply for a recovery or location order.
How Do I Apply For A Recovery Or Location Order?
You will need to file an initiating application for each separate order. In this application, you will be required to provide details regarding what you specifically ask the court for. These orders can include specifics, such as allowing the police to remove the child from the other parent’s custody.
The forms for the application process can be found here.
Family court orders not being followed is a highly serious matter regardless of your circumstances. If you are experiencing a former partner infringing on your rights, please consider contacting an experienced family lawyer today.
How Do I Get The Help I Need?
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way. With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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