Varying Arrangements for Children

Varying arrangements for children which will suit both the parties and the children until the children are 18 years of age can be a very difficult exercise. Doing this successfully relies upon parent’s knowledge of the children (and the other party!) and the experience of the lawyers and/or the Court. While we make orders that deal with every changed circumstance we can think of, life can have other plans. So what do you do if you find that the Orders that were so carefully crafted simply no longer work for you and the children?

If you would like some practical legal advice and the options available to you, contact our experienced Brisbane child custody lawyers or our North Brisbane child custody lawyers. We can assist you in all areas of family law, including regards varying arrangements for children. We will advise you regards likely outcomes for your particular circumstances. This will allow you to make an informed decision and to retain control over how your family law issue is resolved. You are also welcome to read on for further information right now………

There are two (2) ways to change a final Court Order:

  1. By returning to Court and formally making an application that you would like the Court to vary arrangements for children.
  2. By entering into a parenting plan.

Varying arrangements for children by parenting plan

The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) says at section 64D that any court Order that is made for arrangements for children, is automatically subject to any parenting plan agreed by the parents after the Order is made.

This means that your final Order does not need to have anything at all that says that you can agree to a different arrangement to enable you to change the parenting arrangements by parenting plan.

There is one circumstance when you cannot enter into a parenting plan varying arrangements for children:

The court may, in exceptional circumstances, include in a parenting order a provision that the parenting order, or a specified provision of the parenting order, may only be varied by a subsequent order of the court (and not by a parenting plan).

This means that the Court can specify in Orders for parenting arrangements that that one paragraph, or the Orders as a whole, are not able to be varied by a parenting plan. Examples of when this might be done include where it is needed to protect a child from physical or psychological harm, abuse, neglect or family violence, or where there is substantial evidence that one parent is likely going to use coercion or duress to get the other parent to agree to varying arrangements for children by parenting plan.

While this gives parents a bit of flexibility to modify final court orders for parenting arrangements as the children grow and circumstances change, remember that parenting plans are not enforceable by the Court, where a Court Order is. Always consider the effect that a parenting plan will have on your enforceable final Court Orders when varying arrangements for children.

For more information regarding parenting arrangements, see our page on child custody

Contactour family lawyers Brisbane and our family lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice advice about varying arrangements for children. We are able to advise you concerning any area of family law.  Our goal is to assist our clients to reach an amicable agreement with their former partner, whether concerning parenting arrangements for their children or family law property settlement. If however court action becomes necessary, we have the experience to represent you at Court.

The information set out in this blog is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you obtain advice tailored to your particular circumstances from our Brisbane child custody lawyers or our child custody lawyers Brisbane Northside.