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That a breach of a Court Order has occurred must be proved on a ‘balance of probabilities’.
‘Balance of probabilities’ means it is “more likely than not” that the breach (contravention) occurred.
Accordingly, you will need to prove to the Court that it is more likely than not that the Court Order has been breached (contravened).
If you are the one saying that a Court Order has been breached, then you are the person who must prove the breach of the Court Order.
It is the person alleging the breach and who makes the Application to the Court for Contravention of a Court Order, who must prove that it is more likely than not that the breach (contravention) occurred.
To have a court consider a breach of an order, the person alleging the breach must file in Court, a formal written Application to contravene of the other person using the correct court forms.
If you want to have a court take action for a breach of a Court Order then you should read our fact sheet How do I make a Contravention Application.
For the Court to impose a more serious penalty such as a bond, community service order, major fine or imprisonment, the Court may want to be satisfied ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ that the breach (contravention) occurred.
These more serious contravention penalties are usually reserved for the most serious breaches or repeated breaches.
To get a Court to take action after a breach of a Court Order read the fact sheet How do I make a Contravention Application.
To find out what a court might do about a breach of a court order, read the fact sheet What happens if you breach a Court Order.
To know whether a Court Order has actually been breached, see our fact sheet When is a Court Order breached.
The Court might be prepared to accept the reasons for breaching a Court Order so you should read the fact sheet Can I have an excuse for breaching a Court Order.
Michelle Beatty, Senior Lawyer
Other Questions answered in the Court Orders & Consent Orders Section
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