Pub­li­ca­tions

If cir­cum­stances change, so can Par­ent­ing Orders

In brief:

It may come as a relief to some that Par­ent­ing Orders made by the court are not always set in stone. If your cir­cum­stances change, so too can the orders.

And there are a num­ber of rea­sons why you might wish to change Par­ent­ing Orders after they have been made by the Court. 


What we know:

On many occa­sions, Orders are made when the chil­dren are very young. But as they get old­er, cir­cum­stances change and the chil­dren, and you, would ben­e­fit from dif­fer­ent Orders. This is just one rea­son why cur­rent Court Orders may not be appropriate.
The best way to change a Par­ent­ing Order is to seek the con­sent of the oth­er parent. 

Then it becomes a sim­ple mat­ter of draft­ing new Orders and seek­ing that the Court make them by con­sent. If you can­not get the con­sent of the oth­er par­ent then you must become more proac­tive. You have to approach the Court to seek to dis­charge the cur­rent Orders and have new Orders replace them.

Alter­na­tive approaches:

Pri­or to attend­ing Court to change Par­ent­ing Orders it is worth con­sid­er­ing anoth­er approach, which is for both you and the oth­er par­ent to attend a Fam­i­ly Con­sul­tant to do all pos­si­ble to agree to a dif­fer­ent arrange­ment for your chil­dren. If you can­not agree then you will be pro­vid­ed with a Sec­tion 60I Cer­tifi­cate which will allow you to file a court appli­ca­tion with respect to your children.

It is impor­tant to note, that the Court will only con­sid­er an appli­ca­tion for a change to Par­ent­ing Orders where there has been a sig­nif­i­cant change in cir­cum­stances. An old case of Rice and Asplund pro­vides the thresh­old test if an appli­ca­tion is made to change Children’s Orders. This test has been inter­pret­ed in many dif­fer­ent ways by the Court.

What we can do:

We at Swaab Attor­neys are here to help. If you are in a posi­tion where you would like to change cur­rent Children’s Orders and need assis­tance or the oth­er par­ent wish­es to change par­ent­ing orders but you do not, then you should attend on a solic­i­tor to guide you through this process.