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Family law matters involving children are often complex, overwhelming and emotional. One Law recently represented a father in a case that involved varying final orders to protect the welfare of his young child.

The parties involved had final orders in place since 2019, which allowed for equal time arrangements between the father, the mother, and the child. However, due to growing concerns about the child’s well-being in the mother’s care, the father sought to vary these final orders.

The decision to recommence proceedings was not taken lightly. According to the rules published in the landmark case of Rice & Asplund (1979), final orders can only be varied if there is a significant change in circumstances that warrants a review. In this case, the father had substantial concerns about many things such as, the child being subject to psychological harm in the mothers care, the mothers attitude and lack of care toward the child and the child being exposed to family violence.

The family law team at One Law represented the father at an interim hearing. The objective was to temporarily suspend the existing final orders and reduce the time the child spent with the mother. The Court was satisfied the final orders needed to be varied and agreed with the risks presented to the child. In his judgment, the Senior Judicial Registrar noted:

  1. That the child was at risk and exposed to family violence in the Mother’s care;
  2. That the mother posed a risk of harm to the child’s psychological wellbeing;
  3. That the mother’s attitude towards the wellbeing of the child was concerning; and
  4. That the mother failed to adequately address the risk concerns to the child’s physical and psychological wellbeing.

The matter is listed in mid-2024 for a final hearing. One Law will be arguing the Final Order needs to be varied and the mothers time needs to be reduced in a manner that does not expose the child to family violence and significant psychological harm in the mother’s care.

This case serves as a reminder that the child’s best interest is the paramount consideration in family law matters. It also highlights the importance of legal representation in navigating the complex landscape of family law, especially when it comes to varying final orders.

If you find yourself in a similar situation and need legal advice, call us on 02 9119 2232 or jump on and we’ll contact you. Our team of experienced lawyers are here to help you navigate through these challenging times.

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