Section 70NEB Family Law Act discusses the power of the court in relation to the contravention of orders. Federal courts enjoy the sole power to interpret the law, determine constitutionality, and apply it to contravention cases.
A contravention of court orders is when someone does not comply with court orders. This article will discuss Section 70NEB of the Family Law Act 1975 and the consequences of contravention.
Section 70NEB Family Law Act: What Is Contravention?
Contravening a parenting order defines disobedience to a parenting order. A parent may contravene a parenting order if he/she does not comply with the parenting order’s terms. Additionally, a person may deliberately prevent or try preventing another person bound by the order from also complying. Finally, a person can disobey a parenting order without reasonable excuses.
Several parenting orders have terms and conditions regarding the children’s living arrangements and who they will spend time with. Therefore, a contravention of parenting orders might occur if a person refuses to return a child to the custodial parent.
What Can The Court Do If A Parenting Order Has Been Breached?
For example, a parenting order may require the child’s presence with the custodial parent by Sunday morning. Breaching a parenting order includes the parent not returning the child by Sunday morning. However, the court can only make a variety of orders depending on the seriousness of the contravention.
The court could make the following orders:
- Compensation for time lost- This includes making up time to compensate for the time that the custodial parent missed. Courts can only consider making this order if the contravention resulted in a person losing significant time with the child. It’s important to note that this order still follows the child’s best interests.
- Post-separation parenting programs – The non-custodial parent may attend post-separation parenting programs. Section 70NEB of the Family Law Act defines post-separation programs. These programs help parents in resolving problems that affect their parental responsibilities. Additionally, this includes providing counselling services or techniques for resolving disputes.
- Entering into a bond – The non-custodial parent requires entering into a bond with the court. This involves attending appointments for counselling. Importantly, the non-custodial parent must show “good behaviour” as this can make sure that they will comply with future court orders.
- Fines – A non-custodial parent may receive a fine for serious contraventions. Also, breaching orders can result in paying the other party’s legal costs
- Imprisonment – For more serious contraventions, the court can impose imprisonment for up to 12 months.
Re-Enforcing A Court Order
Another way to resolve a contravention is to re-enforce court orders from the Federal Circuit Of Australia (FCOA). In the case of both parties failing to reach an agreement, they should both consider applying for a court order. Then, parties will need to provide the court with facts on whether enforcement of an order is necessary.
Generally, this is a complicated process family law orders are not automatically enforced if not handled properly. Furthermore, every family situation and a breach of contract order is unique and requires assessment.