Can I change my Family Court Order regarding the care and living arrangements of my children?
When the Family Court sets out orders about who your kids live with and their care arrangements, it's based on what's best for them at that time. But as time goes on, things can change, and you might want to update those orders.
How Do I Change My Parenting Order?

If you are thinking about changing your parenting order, talk to the other parent. See if you both agree on the changes. You can chat directly or get a lawyer to help.

If you both agree, you can make Consent Orders. These are where you both say you are okay with the changes, and the Court makes it official without you having to go in.

If you don't agree, try Family Dispute Resolution. This is where you both talk with a mediator to try to find common ground without going to Court.

If that doesn't work, you might need to go to Court to ask for the orders to be changed. But this can be costly and take a lot of time.

To change a parenting order, you need to show there has been a big change in circumstances that makes the change necessary. And you have to show it is in the kids' best interests, not just what's convenient for you.

There is a famous case called Rice v Asplund that sets the rules for changing parenting orders. It's about a mum who wanted to change who her daughter lived with. The Court said she could because her situation had changed a lot since the original orders.

But remember, just any change is not enough to go back to Court. It has to be something significant.
Here are some examples of significant changes:
  • If someone is sick;

  • If there has been abuse;

  • If there was important information missing when the original orders were made;

  • If someone wants to move away with the kids;

  • If the Court agrees there's been a big change, they'll change the orders to suit what's best for the kids.

If you want to change your parenting orders because of a big change, get advice from one of our Family Law experts. We are here to help you through it. Contact us to book a free 1-hour consultation.
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Consent Order
It is a written agreement between the parties that is approved and formalised by the Court as a legally binding Court Order.
Consent orders can be in relation to:
  1. parenting arrangements for children
  2. and/or financial arrangements, for example, for the division of property.