Can you have an Excuse for Breaching (contravening) a Court Order

Can a Breach of a Court Order be excused 

 

 

There will usually be reasons for why a person has breached (the court calls a breach a contravening) a Court Order, so it is important to know when a Court might be prepared to accept a person’s reasons for why they breached the Court Order.

The Family Law Act says that the excuse for breaching (contravening) a Court Order, must be a ‘reasonable excuse’.

What is a ‘reasonable excuse’ for breaching a Court Order.

A ‘reasonable excuse for being in breach of a Court Order might be:

  • When you contravened (breached) the Court Order you did not understand the obligations imposed by it.

 

If the Court Order is quite clear and easy to understand, then convincing the judge you did not understand the Court Order may be very hard.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ for having breached a Court order might be:

 



 

  • When you contravened (breached) the Court Order you did not understand the obligations imposed by it.

If the Court Order is quite clear and easy to understand, then convincing the judge you did not understand the Court Order may be very hard.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ for having breached a Court order might be:

  • You believed on reasonable grounds that what you did (the actions constituting the breach/contravention) was necessary to protect the health or safety of yourself, a child or another person.

That sort of excuse will only be found to be reasonable,e if the length of time you were in breach (contravention) of the Court Order, was only as long as it was necessary to protect your own or the Child (or other person’s) health or safety.

 

More Information on Breaching Court or Consent Orders

Before looking to see whether your excuse for breaching the Court Order might be accepted you should make sure you have actually breached the Court Order. Read our information sheet When is a Court Order breached.

You may also want to read the information in our information sheet about whether you Can have an excuse for breaching a Court Order.

Courts can enforce compliance with Orders. We have a separate information sheet explaining What happens if you breach a Court Order.

See also our information sheet How do you prove a breach of a Court Order.

If you want to have the Court take action about a breach of a Court Order you can read how to do that in our information sheet How do I make a Contravention Application.

 

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