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Changing Existing Parenting Orders

Once final parenting orders are made in family law proceedings, they can only be changed with the assistance of your child custody lawyer in specific circumstances, including:

  1. where the parties agree to a change, or
  2. where a party can show that there has been a significant change of circumstances that makes a change necessary.

The Court will generally not “reopen” parenting proceedings that have been finalised to change parenting orders, unless there is a good reason for doing so and it is in the child or children’s best interest.   Continuing litigation about parenting matters is generally not considered to be in the best interest of the children, or the parties.

A recent decision of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia determined that there was a change in circumstances that warranted a change to existing final parenting orders.

In Shan & Prasad (2020) FLC 93-980, final orders provided for the father to spend no time with his children.  The father applied to vary the orders.  The trial Judge found that there was no sufficient change in circumstances (in accordance with the rule Rice v Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725).
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