Contravention Proceedings

by Lorrie Brook / OCA / 10 Aug 2015

Today we are talking about what happens when a party is not complying with court orders.

Generally if you have an order in place and you have a parent who is on a consistent basis not complying with the orders a number of different things could be taking place. You might be inclined to what them punished immediately. What we want you to do before you take that path is to take a step back and try and ascertain what is happening.

Is there a reason why they are not complying? Is there something behind the scenes that is going on in their life that makes it impossible for them to comply? Have their shifts changed at work? Have they lost their licence so they can’t physically drop the kids off? What is going on that is preventing them from complying with the orders?

If you take an approach such as this to start off with – not only are you more likely to reach a resolution much quicker but it is more likely to be one that you both can live with. If you go down the path of instituting contravention proceedings then you are back in the court process and you are back in the realms of the Court having to enforce a order, sanction, punishment on you. Also if you are going to bring contravention proceedings make sure you are pretty clean because most parties will counter file and say that you have breached the orders at some point in time.

When you are looking at contravention proceedings as well the Court is going to ask you what it is that you want. Do you want make up time? Do you want the orders to be changed? What is the end result that you want? So you need to have a clear outcome in mind that you want the court to do.

Sometimes it will be easier and cheaper for you to go down the mediation path. Mediation should give you an idea as to how you can resolve the issues. At the end of the day the non-complying party needs to realise the impact that this is having on the children’s lives and the ongoing consequences that this causes.

Try and always look for the best possible resolution to the matter before you go to Court – it will be happier outcome for all.