When is an Order Breached (Contravened)

When will a Court find a Court Order (or Consent Order) has been contravened (breached) 


It is important to know:

  • how to comply with a Court Order;
  • when something you do may breach (contravene) a Court Order;
  • whether it is a breach if your former partner is not following the Court Orders.


In the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court, the legal term they use for ‘breaching’ a Court Order, is to ‘contravene’ a Court Order.

Breaching a Court Order is the same thing as contravening a Court Order.

The Court will often refer to a breach of a Court Order as a contravention of a Court Order.

You will breach (contravene) a Court Order (including a Consent Order) if you:




  • Intentionally fail to comply with the Order.
  • Make no reasonable attempt to comply with the Order.
  • Intentionally prevent another person who must comply with the Order, doing so.
  • Aid or abet (assist) a breach (contravention) of the Order by a person who must comply with it.
  • This means, you can also breach a court order, if you stop another person complying with an Order which applies to them, or if you help someone breach a court order.


Breaching Court or Consent Orders – More Information

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 as to how 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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