Child Custody Orders also known as Parenting Orders are Court made orders which sets out the parenting arrangements for a child. It can either be made in agreement by the parties or by the court itself failing an agreement between the parties. This includes how much time each party or one party spend with the child which includes school days, weekends, holidays and public holidays. Parenting orders may also be limited to supervised visits or other visits arranged either by consent with the parties or by the court. A parenting order also includes communication methods and time with a person who does not live the child.
Are Parenting Orders important?
Parenting Orders are binding and if not followed allows the other party to file an application alleging contravention of those orders. The court may also impose penalties such as a fine, legal costs for the other side having to bring the application or even sentence the person to imprisonment for not following those orders.
What if there is a reasonable excuse to change those orders?
This does not mean you will not be found to have failed to comply with an order but rather the court will consider whether one party had a reasonable excuse for contravening the order. This also depends on the circumstances and each case is different. An example, however would be if the person reasonable believed that the actions constituting the contravention were necessary to protect the health and safety of a person including the person who contravened the order or child and the contravention did not last longer than was necessary to protect the health and safety of the person who contravened the order of the child. It is important to note to look at this example or take action to breach those orders without taking reasonable steps and immediately speaking with a lawyer for advice.
Can Parenting Orders be changed?
In short yes but you and the other party would be required to apply for consent orders to seek to vary those court orders. If there is no consent to vary those orders between the parties you would need to apply to the court for the court’s consideration to change those parenting orders. Of course, if the Parenting Orders cannot be followed and it is an obvious mistake than those Parenting Orders can be varied.
Our lawyers can assist you by advising you and making sure you understand parenting orders, the importance of parenting orders and how to change parenting orders should the need arise. Whilst it may sound difficult to obtain parenting orders it provides peace of mind for both parties as it stipulates in writing where each party stands in relation to the parenting arrangements of the child. Should the unfortunate circumstance arise where your child is missing and the parenting order notes that the child should be with you at that time you are also able to contact the Police for urgent assistance in recovering your child which provides more peace of mind and stability in your current living circumstance.