Family Court Orders Are Not to Be Trifled With

Property – Contempt – Husband sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for breach of property order by redrawing money from a line of credit facility and failing to discharge mortgage

In Parrish & Gallejo (No.2) [2018] FCCA 2851 (3 August 2018) Judge Jarrett heard a contempt application brought by the wife against the husband who had been ordered to discharge a mortgage by paying half of the sale proceeds of a property towards that facility and making consecutive monthly payments such that the wife would retain an unencumbered property within 48 months. The husband initially complied with the order by paying $231,807.99 of sale proceeds into a line of credit encumbering the property, but subsequently made withdrawals from that facility to the extent that he withdrew all he had paid.

He did so in breach of an order restraining him from further encumbering the property without the consent of the wife and also failed to make the 48 monthly payments. The husband admitted the allegations but said he had made the withdrawals in circumstances where his business had experienced cash flow difficulties arising from $1.8 million in bad debtors and the liquidation of one of his companies.

The first four counts of contempt related to each of the husband’s breaches as to non-payment of the required moneys and withdrawals in breach of the order. A fifth count pertained to the husband having separately failed to provide financial information as directed by the Court at an enforcement hearing.

[Case summary provided by TheFamilyLawBook.]

Family Court orders are to be taken seriously, as can be seen from the above case there are real and at times severe consequences of contravening a Court order. The enforceability of Court orders are the reason why you should obtain either Consent Orders or Court Orders in relation to your property settlement and/or parenting matters.