April 19, 2017

Parenting Orders: You can’t always get what you want

Parenting Orders are written with the best interests of the children in mind. But that doesn’t mean they can always get what they want.

In a recent case, two teenage boys elected to go with their father to live in New York. Ultimately, the High Court rejected the father’s argument and the boys were not allowed to move overseas. It’s important to note that each Family Law case is based on its merit and if you are in a similar situation you cannot necessarily rely on this outcome.

The impact on, and the boy’s relationship with, their sibling and the other parent were important matters to be taken into account. While the boys were willing and even excited to travel to and live in New York that alone was not the most important consideration. The impact on and wishes of Mum had to be taken into account. One parent on their own couldn’t in these circumstances decide the future of the children.

After the separation, the Family Court made parenting orders that gave equal shared parental responsibilities, with the living arrangements to be decided by the parties and their children. Although this arrangement gave plenty of flexibility, for Mum to agree for the boys to live with their Dad in New York would not facilitate important relationships in the boy’s best interests.

The Court ordered that alternative living arrangements could be made for the boys in Australia if they elected not to live with their mother. There are always options outside of living with Mum or Dad.

Do you find yourself in a situation where your current parenting orders no longer suit your lifestyle or the wants and/or needs of your children? Has the situation changed so much that it’s time to revisit the situation?

If both you and the other parent agree to change the parenting orders that may be five or ten years old and out of date then you apply to the court for consent orders. What once worked may no longer suit you or the other parent.

If it’s time to review your situation, speak to us about applying for new consent orders.