For a long time, the Family Court system has struggled to properly enforce Orders made in their courts through their contravention process.
Parties have often treated Family Court and Federal Circuit Court Orders as guidelines rather than Court Orders, for which they may face penalty when failing to comply with the terms of those Orders.
It has long been difficult to enforce Court Orders due to the fact that to enforce a Court Order the other party must file a Contravention Application with the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.
That Application is then given a hearing date but often, the consequence of that, is that the primary matter before the Court could be delayed by the pursuing of the enforcement of Orders through that Contravention Application.
Along with the merger of the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia into what will now be known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA), the new Court is launching a new National Contravention List to tackle issues of non-compliance with Court Orders in Family Law cases.
The new National Contravention List intends to create a system whereby there is a fast response to Contravention Applications such that each Application will be given a first return Court hearing date within 14 days of the filing of the Application.
The list plans to address the expectation that all parties will comply with Orders of the Court. Appropriate penalties or sanctions will be imposed where a contravention of a Court Order has been proven and where the party has failed to demonstrate that they had a reasonable excuse for their non-compliance with the Court's Orders.
We believe that the adoption of this new National Contravention List will provide families with a more efficient process and effective results in their family law cases.
Andersons Solicitors look forward to working within the new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia framework.
Should you have any questions about the Family Law Court merger or need help, please contact one of our Family Law team.
Read more about this on the Federal Circuit Court website. http://www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fccweb/about/news/mr180821