22 March 2016 If circumstances change, so can Parenting Orders

By Annette Wilson, Partner

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.

     For further information, please contact:

Annette Wilson, Partner  |  Phone: +61 2 9233 5544  |  Email:

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This article is not legal advice and the views and comments are of a general nature only. This article is not to be relied upon in substitution for detailed legal advice.

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