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What Happens If I Don't Comply With A Court Order?

If your relationship has ended, you have children and parenting orders have been made by the court, understanding and obeying the orders is crucial.

The court makes parenting orders to set out some important things about children, such as with whom they can live, visitation hours, who has parental responsibility for the children and much more.

The court considers the best interests of the children and decides how the children are going to spend time with each parent. If you do not comply with the parenting orders of the court, the other parent may file an application in the court saying that you have breached the orders.

Breaching a parenting order is a serious problem. If the other parent takes you to court to complain about the breach, the court may punish you, unless you have some reasonable excuse for why you did not comply with the court order.

For instance, if you breach the order to protect someone’s health or safety or if you have proved that you did not breach the order intentionally, the court may decide that you have a reasonable excuse.

You should get the advice of a qualified family lawyer when the other parent complains that you have breached the court order. The lawyer can help you prevent some legal complications from developing.

If the court decides that you did not comply with the parenting order without any rational reason, it can order you to go to a parenting program.

This program helps you understand the needs of your children and the ways to sort out the problems with the other parent. The court may change the current parenting orders.

If you breach the court order more than once, the court may decide that you are intentionally ignoring the order. It may make you pay the legal costs of the other parent, pay a fine or face a term of imprisonment (or a combination of these).

If the parenting orders specify the number of hours you can spend with your child, you need to comply with it strictly. If you spend more hours than the agreed hours without the consent of the other parent, he/she may apply to the court and get a recovery order to get the child back from you.

If you feel that your child is not safe or comfortable with the other parent, you can get the help of an experienced lawyer and take necessary steps to make changes in the parenting order.

If the court decides that there is any risk to the safety or health of the child, it can make urgent orders but again seek a solicitor's advice on this as urgent applications aren't automatically accepted by the Family Court or the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia.

This article is general information only and is not legal advice. Consult an Australian Legal Practitioner via Love Law Legal Consultations to obtain legal advice for your unique situation.

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