To change an existing court order, you will need to show that there has been a significant change of circumstances that makes a change necessary.

Please note that a change to the Family Law Act is not a significant change in circumstance in itself. See the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006, Schedule 1, Item 44.

How do I apply to change my orders?

If you have been approached about the change or are served with an application for the change, 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. For more information, see the page, How do I – apply for consent orders.
  2. Alternatively you may enter into a parenting plan. For more information, see the section 'If you agree on arrangements' and the Attorney-General's parenting plan guide fact sheet.

What if we do not agree?

Do I need to use a dispute resolution service?

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 don’t agree, you may some assistance to need to reach an agreement. For more information about dispute resolution, see the dispute resolution page.

If you cannot reach an agreement, you follow the same process as if you were applying to the court for the first time. See the How do I – apply for parenting orders page

If you don’t agree, you may some assistance to need to reach an agreement. For more information about dispute resolution, see the dispute resolution page.

If you cannot reach an agreement, you follow the same process as if you were applying to the court for the first time. See the How do I – apply for parenting orders page