Most people who are subject to Family Court orders comply with them but there are still many people who suffer the continuing torment of an ex-partner who repeatedly breaches orders.

Non-compliance has been a long-standing problem for many who have received the benefits of orders by the Family Court, particularly those who have received parenting orders.   It is likely that you or someone you know has suffered the torment of dealing with a repeat non-compliant partner following separation and has had to return to the Court system and its delay and expense on a number of occasions.

We are able to advise that this problem is being addressed by the Family Court.  Effective 1 September 2021 the Family Court has adopted a National Contravention List.  It aims to achieve a timely, cost effective and efficient way for parties to deal with breaches of orders that are already in place.

What you need to know about the National Contravention List

When you file your contravention application, it must be accompanied by:

  • A copy of the order, agreement or undertaking that has been contravened;
  • An affidavit stating facts in support of the orders sought; and
  • Where required, a valid s 60I certificate (saying you have attempted Family Dispute Resolution) unless an exemption applies

Further, there is no Court fee required for filing a contravention application.

Benefits of the National Contravention List

There are a number of significant benefits likely to emerge from the adoption of the list.  These include:

  • After filing you will get your first Court date within 14 days. Presently the best that can be expected is a delay of at least 42 days.  Quite often in the past allegations of breach have been “patched over” by the time the first Court date has arrived making it less likely that the Court will take any punitive or remedial action.  The quick appointment of a Court date ought to improve this.
  • The Chief Justice has made it clear that if there is a need for Court intervention because of breach there will be serious consequences for the defaulter including costs orders. This is a clear indication of a willingness for the Court to penalise those who don’t abide by the orders already made.

If you or anyone you know needs assistance in relation to compliance with Court orders or any aspect of Family law please contact one of our accredited specialists in Family Law for assistance on 9525 8688 or email  We also invite you to download our free Divorce and Separation eGuide.