Family Law Series: Enforcement of Court Orders

For Family Law, the type of orders you have in place will determine what options you have in relation to enforcement.

Contravention Applications apply to parenting orders and can be made when one party alleges that the other has failed to comply with the orders. This is most frequent when one party does not allow the other to spend time with the child.

Before a Contravention Application can be filed, the parties are required to attempt to resolve the matter in writing or by attending mediation. After an application has been filed, a hearing will be required where the applicant must prove the contravention of the order. Depending on the outcome, there are a number of approaches the court might take including varying the orders, imposing a penalty or requiring the contravening party to pay the other parties legal costs etc.

In relation to property if there is a financial agreement in place, you must first obtain an order from the court to enforce the agreement. This will require an assessment of the agreement to confirm that it meets all of the requirements to be considered valid. If you have Consent Orders in place, enforcement may include an order for seizure of property or payment of debts.