Breaching family court orders – is it that bad?

Jul 23 2020

The Family Court is a stressful place to be, yet it is important to put any emotion and any anger aside whilst respecting court orders that are part of your case. If you are unhappy about your court orders – please do not breach them but instead speak to your Lawyer who apply to vary them for you.

Breaching a court order is a punishable offence

Any breach of a court order is taken extremely seriously, and Judges have a number of punishments available for parties who breach court orders, depending on how severe the breach is. Sometimes breaches occur due to accidents and unforeseen circumstances such as a parent or child being sick, and a court usually won’t penalise a party under these circumstances.

What are the penalties for breaching court?

One common way that Family Court Judges penalise parties who breach court orders is to order make up time with the parent who has missed out on having time with the child. If a parent has breached orders repeatedly for example if they are back in court for a second or third breach application, Judges can revoke existing orders and order the child to live with the other parent who has not been in breach.

Other punishments that Judges can hand down for parties who knowingly and repeatedly breach court orders include fines, imprisonment for contempt of court and being put on good behaviour bonds. Being jailed is rare but always a possibility, so never underestimate it as a punishment for breaching court orders.

Being called into court for breaching orders (as the parent in breach) is an expensive experience and be careful as if you are the parent who is in breach, costs can be awarded against you by the other parent.

Whatever is the case, don’t contravene any family court orders and instead speak to us as we can apply to have your orders varied if they are unworkable, unfair or your circumstances have changed. Learn more about parenting plans and disputes.

 – Written by Jeremy Maspero.

Jeremy Maspero is a family law lawyer with a diverse range of experience and skills. With the experience you need and results you want, contact Jeremy today for a consultation to understand how he can help you on 02 8052 3322 or