30 Aug It Rarely Pays to Contravene Parenting Orders
The recent Family Court case of Donaldson & Ryder highlights the need for parents to be particularly careful to ensure full compliance with final parenting orders to avoid being contravened.
Whilst, in that case, the contraventions/breaches of the Orders were deemed less serious, the non-complying party was unable to provide a reasonable excuse to the Court of why the Orders were not complied with and, accordingly the contraventions were made out.
Once made out, the Court must then determine what punishment should be imposed. In this instance as they were minor contraventions, there were six (6) separate contraventions made out and the Court found it in order to “punish” the party by making a good behaviour order and that the contravening party contribute $2,000 towards the other party’s legal costs.
Justice Carew was cautious as to the punishment in this instance and whilst some Judges have been overly robust in the punishments handed down for contraventions, it would be hoped the contravening party would ensure compliance with the Orders, as in the event of future contraventions after a positive finding on six (6) counts here, the end result might be entirely different the next time around.