Contravention orders what they are and how they work

Family Law

A contravention order is a court order that requires a person to comply with their obligations under the Family Law Act. The order can be made by a court, or by the Attorney-General, on behalf of the Commonwealth. If a person contravenes a contravention order, they may be liable for a fine, imprisonment, or both. The penalties for contravening a contravention order are set out in the Family Law Act.

In this post we take a look into what they are and how they work.

Contravening a parenting order

Contravening a parenting order entail breaking the rules and other commitments that impact the children. Provision for contraventions is exceedingly complex and handled in a somewhat criminal manner.

The applicant must prove a breach of an order, and if it is proven or acknowledged, the case moves on to whether or not the respondent has a valid defence.

Before submitting a violation application, it’s crucial to consider the intended result. Depending on the conclusion, the application or part of it may be rejected, or penalties may be applied if no justification is provided.

A preferable strategy could be to submit an application requesting enforcement of or a revision to the orders, which are frequently sought or necessary.

Under Section 70NAC of the Family Law Act of 1975, a person is considered to have violated an order if, and only if, they are:

  1. Bound by the order, and they have.
  2. Intentionally violated the order; they have made no considerable effort to comply with it.
  3. Intentionally avoided reliance on the order by a person who is bound by it.
  4. Helped or encouraged someone who was obligated by the order to violate it (s. 70NAC) of the Family law act.

Contravention with a considerable excuse

The court may order the applicant to pay some or all of the opposing party or parties’ expenses where the court concludes that the respondent did not violate the claimed violation (s. 70NCA Family Law Act) (s 70NCB Family Law Act). If the applicant has previously brought contravention proceedings and, on the prior occasion, the court was not satisfied that there had been a contravention or did not otherwise make an order dealing with the respondent, the court must consider making an order for costs as a significant deterrent to parties bringing unfounded contravention applications (s. 70NCB (2) Family Law Act).

When someone violates a court’s directives, this is known as a court order violation

“Contravention” is the synonym of the word called a breach. “Orders issued by a court, whether consent orders or orders issued after a matter has been heard in court, are legally binding and must be complied with. When someone violates court order, it usually indicates one of the following:

  1. Wilfully violated the command
  2. Made no sincere effort to comply with the order
  3. Wilfully preventing a person who is obliged by the command from following it, a person who is obligated by the command from breaking it

Only if the other party to whom the order applies makes an application alleging a breach or non-compliance may the court impose sanctions for violating the order.

What to do if a person violates a court order

Getting legal counsel is the first step you should take if you wish to accuse someone of violating a court order. Understanding how the law relates to your particular situation is crucial since each case is assessed based on its unique circumstances and results differ. You must submit the following paperwork to the court if you want to accuse someone of violating court orders.

In addition to a copy of the current orders, an application for disobedience of court orders requires an affidavit for the non-filing of a family dispute resolution certificate supporting affidavit or a certification from a family conflict resolution professional. There isn’t a filing charge.

Identifying the exact section of the order that was violated is necessary. A single application may allege more than one violation. Resolution of family disputes is a step in the pre-filing procedure. It focuses on allowing people to reach an agreement without going to court. Before anybody may file a court application, both parties must attempt to address the matter through family dispute resolution. In addition to being less formal than court, it is typically less unpleasant, costly, time-consuming, and emotionally demanding.


However, exceptions may be allowed in situations involving domestic violence, child abuse, the possibility of such cases, or if the situation calls for it urgently. Instead, a certificate for the non-filing of a family dispute resolution process would be needed. The applicant may describe the circumstances that make their application urgent or why the opposing party cannot effectively participate in family dispute resolution in this affidavit. The court will not be able to accept an application if it calls for a family conflict resolution certificate and the applicant is unable to supply one.

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