Written by Rachel Weatherly
The Family Law process can be tiring, frustrating and exhausting, made even more so when, just as you think you can finally get on with life, the other party simply won’t do what they are supposed to.
There is of course a sliding scale of non-compliance with Orders, from being 10 minutes late every week, to not turning up at all to return the child or not complying with conditions such as informing of medical treatments and all the issues in between.
First, it’s worth deciding whether it’s a battle worth fighting. Yes, they are not complying, but is it important enough to you to re-engage in the process?
Secondly, depending on the severity of the breach, the best place to start may be a polite yet firm email or letter explaining what the Order requires and that they are not complying. It might be worth asking if there is a reason for their non-compliance which could lead to a resolution of the issue by making some slight amendments. For example, if they are always 10 minute late because of a situation which is out of their control each week (such a traffic or another commitment) it might simply benefit everyone to shift the handover by 10 minutes.
Thirdly, attempt a Family Dispute Resolution, where someone can help mediate the issue and hopefully the matter can be appropriately addressed and rectified. The Family Law does require that parties attempt this type of mediation prior to going to Court except in certain situations (which we have discussed in our previous blog (Click here).
Fourth, file an Application in Court. There are a variety of Applications which may assist you from seeking that the Order’s be varied on the basis that they do not work and they are therefore not appropriate Orders and not in the child’s best interest; or by filing a Contravention Application which carries penalties for the non-complying parent. The most appropriate course would depend on your circumstances and it would be best to obtain legal advice in relation to which is best for your situation.
#parentingorders #familylaw #children’sissues #mediation #legaladvice #separationandchildren