How can I change my court orders?

3 September 2019 | All

To change an existing court order, you will need to show that there has been a significant change of circumstances that makes a change of the orders necessary. The court will only entertain fresh proceedings relating to your children in certain circumstances. It is not the case that you can just reopen your case because you have simply changed your mind.

As a general rule of thumb, the courts acknowledge that it is ordinarily not in the children’s best interests to expose them to further court proceedings.

Before the court will hear your further court application you will need to satisfy the court that there has been some changed circumstances which will justify such a serious step.

What may amount to a change in circumstances will depend on the facts of each case. Some examples of proven significant changes in circumstance may be:

  • Time elapsed since the date of final orders;
  • A party seeking to relocate;
  • Change to the health of a child or parent;
  • Changes in the children’s wishes.

What do I have to do before I go back to court?

Even before you commence further court proceedings you must try to sort things through with the other parent first by way of a mediation. If you have been to a family dispute resolution service within the previous 12 months, you need not do so again unless you feel it may assist you to resolve the matter. 

If you have not attended mediation using a family dispute resolution service then you must do so and file a certificate confirming your attendance, called a Section 60i Certificate, when filing your court Application. 

What if I have been served with the further Court Application by the other parent?

If the other parent has commenced further court proceedings and you have been approached by the other parent to change the current orders you should consider if the change proposed is in the best interests of the child/ren. If you agree to the changes:

  1. You can sign draft consent orders which the Family Court (not the Federal Circuit Court) can make into orders, without the need for you both to appear in court. MDV Family Lawyers can assist you by drafting and filing all court documents on your behalf.
  2. Alternatively you may enter into a parenting plan. For more information contact MDV Family Lawyers today or visit the Attorney-General’s parenting plan guide fact sheet.

If the other parent has gone on to commence further court proceedings and you don’t agree with the orders sought by the other parent in the court application then you will need to respond to the parents court application. MDV Family Lawyers are experienced family law lawyers that can guide you through the court process.