changing an existing parenting order
usual grounds for varying a parenting order
A parenting order is final and binding between the parties. However, a parenting order may be changed upon application to the court.
Parenting orders are issued by the court to establish the care arrangements for a child. A parenting order may be applied for by the parent, a grandparent, the child himself or any person who is interested in the care, welfare and development of a child. The order will stay in force until it is ordered to be changed by the court.
The most usual reason is that a party is no longer able to comply with the existing parenting order. It could be that the parent who cares for the child is ill with a debilitating sickness that renders him incapable of taking care of the child. A party may have also lost his employment such that he cannot anymore financially support a child as he used to do.
Another ground is if the other party is constantly violating the current parenting order without a valid excuse. An order is impractical if only one is complying with his obligations. It is sometimes best to apply for changes so that the other party will be forced to comply.
The actual care of the child is not reflected in the current order. The purpose of a parenting order is to bind parties to the care of the child in accordance with the terms and conditions stated in the order. The parenting order serves like a basis or guideline for a parent’s responsibilities that is why it is important to have the actual care reflected.
The parent or the child transferring to another place will cause a ripple effect to the parenting arrangements set out in the order. The visitations, the time spent by the child with his parents, communication and other aspects of child care will be affected by relocation. This calls for a variation of the parenting order to accommodate the changes caused by transferring to another place.
A parenting order that is made with incorrect or incomplete information would be unfair. In fact, it is fraudulent. Thus, the defrauded party may seek for a change to the existing parenting order.
The following may be subjects of change in a parenting order:
- Who the child will live with;
- The time spent by the child with the parent or other significant persons;
- How the child will communicate with the parent or other significant persons;
- Whether the parties will have equal shared parental responsibility of the child or will be spending substantial and significant time with the child;
- The particular decisions that the parents have to jointly make with respect to their child;
- Financial support of the child;
- Other relevant aspects of the child’s care, welfare and development.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.