The Family Court of Australia has recently reiterated in a Brisbane case that final orders means final.
Where a final parenting order has been made, a parent must show a material change of circumstance since the final orders were made before the Court will allow a parenting matter to be re-litigated and make more parenting Orders.
This case concerned one child, who was 3 years of age when the Court made final parenting orders. The child’s father applied to the Court again for new orders almost 2 years afterwards. The father sought to relitigate the order because he alleged the mother failed to comply with the final order, which the mother disputed, and relied on a change in his relationship and household status, taking up employment in another suburb and poor communication with the mother as changes which meant the final orders should be altered.
The court stated that ‘Although trite, it is worthwhile making clear that the father needed to demonstrate not just that there had been a change in circumstances, but that the change was sufficiently significant to warrant revision of the existing orders in any particular way’
This means it’s not enough for there to be a change of circumstances, but a parent must show that this change was so significant it warrants the re-opening of litigation in that particular case.
What might be important in one matter might not be in a different set of circumstances.
The Judge was not satisfied that in the circumstances of that case that those changes were, individually or cumulatively, significant enough to entertain further litigation regarding the child. On appeal, the Family Court upheld that decision.
If you have final parenting orders and you are not sure if you meet the criteria to seek different orders, or the other parents wants more litigation and you want to know where you stand, see one of our experienced family lawyers by calling us on 5576 9999.
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