“Parenting Orders were made by the Court but there has been a change in circumstances since they were made. Do I need to comply with the Orders? What can I do to change them?”
Often things in life do not happen as planned. Parenting Orders can provide a fairly structured and secure parenting plan which enables both parents to maintain a relationship with their children after separation.
However, they can become problematic when one parent re-partners, relocates, loses their job, falls ill or the children start to express different wishes as to which parent they want to live with or spend more time with. Such circumstances can make Orders difficult to comply with and in some cases, even impossible to comply with.
If any of the above changes arise or any other significant change occurs in the living arrangements or the development of your children, the Court needs to be satisfied that there has been a significant change in circumstances before it can consider whether a Parenting Order should be changed or varied.
As there are no specific categories of circumstances nor any prerequisites which satisfy the threshold test of “significant change in circumstances”, each case has to be examined and assessed on its own merits to establish whether the threshold test has been met.
Unless you can reach an agreement with the other parent on how you wish to vary the existing Orders, both you and the other parent must continue complying with the Orders until you obtain different Orders from the Court. Various legal consequences can follow from non-compliance of Court Orders depending on the severity of each case.
If you are considering changing Parenting Orders or your ex-partner has told you that they wish to vary the Parenting Orders, it is recommended that you obtain legal advice immediately in order to assess the prospects of seeking such a variation in the Parenting Orders and whether it is likely to be accepted and upheld by the Court.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange a consultation with an experienced family lawyer in Sydney.