When the court makes an order, whether it be for children, finances or any other area of law, the court assumes that it will be followed. A lot of work and effort will have gone into reaching the point that an order is made, and it is made for good reason.
However, the court do not police that order. There are no checks to make sure that it is followed and the responsibility of drawing any breaches of that order to their attention is yours.
Court orders are generally followed, but if you find that you have an order which is not being complied with, you need to give some thought as to what steps to take to resolve the matter.
Firstly, is the part of the order not being followed important. If it says that you collect the children at 5.00pm and they are in a school club until 5.15pm, is it really worth dragging the case back to court to argue that you are losing 15 minutes? If the children are not being made available until 7.30, then that is a different matter. Unless there is a good reason which you agree with, it is a clear breach of the order.
Often orders are broken for far bigger reasons that missing contact time. Lost holidays, lost parties, special events, all missed. Some people have little respect for the court, and if you find yourself in that position then you should act. If you don’t, you lose out on time that the Judge felt you should have, and any contact you have will continue to be diminished until it is all gone.
Alterations to an order can be made between yourselves by agreement, but changes cannot be made unilaterally. If they are, then you need to enforce the order.
When orders are enforced, there are crucial points that need to be made, and if the court is satisfied that their order is not being followed to cause you problems, they will act on it. They will rarely punish the offender for a first breach, but if their behaviour continues, they will step in and start to put sanctions in place to punish them.
When court orders are not being followed, it can be difficult to know what the best approach to take is. Simon Walland will be delivering a Training Course on Saturday 21st November where he will explain all the options available to you when the order you have is breached. The course will explain the applications to make in both children and financial cases, including completing the application and explaining the breach and recovery of wasted costs. It will also cover the hearing, what the court will be looking for, and how the court will deal with any breach. It will last for 2-3 hours and will cost £50 to attend.
To attend the Training Course which is held online via Microsoft Teams, please click here.