Can You Change a Final Parenting Order?

While it is always the intention of the Family Court that a final parenting order will be just that – final – it is undeniable that as your children grow and develop, so will their needs and opinions. If your orders were made when your child was three, you could now be faced with a pre-teen who has needs and opinions that those orders simply do not address. It may be the case that those final orders are no longer in the best interest of your child.

A parenting order can always change by agreement between you and the other parent. However, if you are unable to reach an agreement, then an application will need to be made to the Court. The Court must be satisfied that there has been a significant change in circumstances from those at the time of the original orders, before the Court will reassess a parenting matter. The change must be so significant that there is no doubt in the Court’s mind that litigation is necessary. The Court also needs to balance that up with the litigation and the best interests of the children.

Some examples of what could give rise to a significant change in circumstances are:

  1. Re-partnering;
  2. Relocation;
  3. Parental conflict has risen to the point where the current orders are unworkable;
  4. Change in employment;
  5. Significant passage of time has led to the child changing their views on the current orders.

If you have a final parenting order in place, and you believe circumstances have changed enough to justify an alteration to an existing order, you should seek advice from a family lawyer. We can assist with a number of family law issues including divorce law, child support and co-parenting. To speak to us, please contact our team at Pullos Lawyers at our Gold Coast office on (07) 5526 3646 or our Brisbane office on (07) 3144 1641.