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FAMILY LAW ACT 1975 - SECT 70NAE

Meaning of reasonable excuse for contravening an order

             (1)  The circumstances in which a person may be taken to have had, for the purposes of this Division, a reasonable excuse for contravening an order under this Act affecting children include, but are not limited to, the circumstances set out in subsections (2), (4), (5), (6) and (7).

             (2)  A person (the respondent ) is taken to have had a reasonable excuse for contravening an order under this Act affecting children if:

                     (a)  the respondent contravened the order because, or substantially because, he or she did not, at the time of the contravention, understand the obligations imposed by the order on the person who was bound by it; and

                     (b)  the court is satisfied that the respondent ought to be excused in respect of the contravention.

             (3)  If a court decides that a person had a reasonable excuse for contravening an order under this Act for the reason referred to in paragraph (2)(a), it is the duty of the court to explain to the person, in language likely to be readily understood by the person, the obligations imposed on him or her by the order and the consequences that may follow if he or she again contravenes the order.

             (4)  A person (the respondent ) is taken to have had a reasonable excuse for contravening a parenting order to the extent to which it deals with whom a child is to live with in a way that resulted in the child not living with a person in whose favour the order was made if:

                     (a)  the respondent believed on reasonable grounds that the actions constituting the contravention were necessary to protect the health or safety of a person (including the respondent or the child); and

                     (b)  the period during which, because of the contravention, the child did not live with the person in whose favour the order was made was not longer than was necessary to protect the health or safety of the person referred to in paragraph (a).

             (5)  A person (the respondent ) is taken to have had a reasonable excuse for contravening a parenting order to the extent to which it deals with whom a child is to spend time with in a way that resulted in a person and a child not spending time together as provided for in the order if:

                     (a)  the respondent believed on reasonable grounds that not allowing the child and the person to spend time together was necessary to protect the health or safety of a person (including the respondent or the child); and

                     (b)  the period during which, because of the contravention, the child and the person did not spend time together was not longer than was necessary to protect the health or safety of the person referred to in paragraph (a).

             (6)  A person (the respondent ) is taken to have had a reasonable excuse for contravening a parenting order to the extent to which it deals with whom a child is to communicate with in a way that resulted in a person and a child not having the communication provided for under the order if:

                     (a)  the respondent believed on reasonable grounds that not allowing the child and the person to communicate together was necessary to protect the health or safety of a person (including the respondent or the child); and

                     (b)  the period during which, because of the contravention, the child and the person did not communicate was not longer than was necessary to protect the health or safety of the person referred to in paragraph (a).

             (7)  A person (the respondent ) is taken to have had a reasonable excuse for contravening a parenting order to which section 65P applies by acting contrary to section 65P if:

                     (a)  the respondent believed on reasonable grounds that the action constituting the contravention was necessary to protect the health or safety of a person (including the respondent or the child); and

                     (b)  the period during which, because of that action, a person in whose favour the order was made was hindered in or prevented from discharging responsibilities under the order was not for longer than was necessary to protect the health or safety of the person referred to in paragraph (a).



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