When going through a family law case, it can be overwhelming to consider all the different legal options available. One such option that may be beneficial to your case is a Conduct Order. This post will provide an overview of what Conduct Orders are, how they work, and how they can help your family law case.
What Are Conduct Orders?
A Conduct Order is a legal order issued by a court in a family law case that outlines specific behaviours or actions that a parent or caregiver must follow regarding their child. These orders are often put in place to protect the well-being and safety of the child.
Common examples of conditions that may be included in a Conduct Order include:
- Prohibiting a parent from using drugs or alcohol during their parenting time
- Requiring a parent to attend counselling or therapy sessions
- Limiting a parent’s contact with certain individuals, such as a new romantic partner
- Requiring a parent to complete a parenting course or anger management program
- Prohibiting a parent from engaging in certain behaviours, such as using physical punishment
How Do Conduct Orders Work?
Conduct Orders are typically put in place as part of a larger parenting plan or custody agreement. If both parties can agree on the terms of the order, it may be included in a consent order that is signed by both parties and submitted to the court for approval.
If the parties cannot agree on the terms of the order, a judge will make a decision on what conditions should be included. The judge will consider factors such as the child’s best interests, the parents’ history of behaviour, and any evidence presented in court.
Once a Conduct Order is in place, it becomes a legally binding agreement that both parties must follow. If either party violates the terms of the order, they may face legal consequences, such as fines or even jail time.
How Can Conduct Orders Help Your Family Law Case?
There are several ways that a Conduct Order can benefit your family law case:
- Protecting Your Child’s Well-being: Conduct Orders can help ensure that your child is safe and well-cared for by setting specific guidelines for parenting behaviour.
- Resolving Disputes: If there are ongoing disputes between parents, a Conduct Order can provide clear guidelines for behaviour, reducing the likelihood of future conflicts.
- Providing a Legal Framework: Conduct Orders provide a legal framework for parenting behaviour, making it easier to enforce the terms of the agreement if necessary.
- Demonstrating Good Faith: By agreeing to a Conduct Order, you demonstrate to the court that you are committed to doing what is best for your child and are willing to work with the other party to come to an agreement.
How Can the Courts Enforce Conduct Orders If They Are Not Complied With?
If one party fails to comply with a conduct order, there are several ways the court can enforce it. These include:
Contempt of Court
One way the court can enforce conduct orders is by holding the non-compliant party in contempt of court. This means that the party has disobeyed a court order, and the court can impose fines, imprisonment, or other penalties.
Writ of Execution
Another way the court can enforce a conduct order is through a writ of execution. This is a court order that instructs a sheriff or other officer to seize the non-compliant party’s property to pay the amount owed for non-compliance with the conduct order.
Change in Custody or Access
If a parent repeatedly fails to comply with a conduct order, the court may consider changing custody or access arrangements. For example, if a parent is ordered to attend counseling but fails to do so, the court may reduce their parenting time or even modify custody arrangements to protect the child’s best interests.
Suspension of Driver’s License or Passport
In some cases, the court may suspend a non-compliant party’s driver’s license or passport to encourage compliance with a conduct order.
Conduct Orders can be a valuable tool in a family law case, providing a clear framework for parenting behaviour and helping to protect the well-being of children. If you are considering a Conduct Order as part of your case, it is important to work with a seasoned family law attorney who can help you navigate the legal process with ease and ensure that your rights are protected.
Dreyer and Associates is a firm devoted to preserving the welfare of families in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland. We specialize in family law, wills and estates, and residential conveyancing; however, family law is our main specialty. Schedule a legal consultation with us today!