It is useful to appreciate that when an Application – Contravention in respect to child orders is brought before the Court the Court has the power to amend the existing Orders, primarily to ensure that they will be complied with in the future.
We recently completed a case which we came into very late in relation to an Application – Contravention, in fact so late that we were only involved in the sentencing procedure.
The case involved a father who resided in Sydney and a mother and child who resided in Brisbane. When the original Orders were made for the mother to relocate to Brisbane the mother was in a relationship with another man who was able to pay the airfare of the child to travel to and from Sydney in accordance with the Orders.
However some time after the Orders were made that relationship broke down and our client and her new partner separated; thereafter our client could not afford return airfares to and from Sydney and the frequency required by the Orders was severely curtailed.
The father brought two Applications for Contravention and our client was found guilty on both of them however as part of the sentencing the Federal Magistrate determined that the Order which required the mother to pay the return airfare cost to and from Sydney be reversed and the father now be required to pay the airfare to and from Sydney.
Needless to say the father was not happy with that decision.
As we said, be careful.