Court Orders: How to Change if the other party does not Agree

How to Change a Final Parenting Order when the other party does not agree 

If the Court has previously made a Final Order in relation to parenting arrangements, the Court will only entertain an Application to change that Order if you can show there has been a significant change in circumstances.

This is often referred to as a “Rice and Asplund” issue as that was the name of the case that decided the principle.

This applies whether the Order was made by consent or after a full Hearing and no matter how old the Order is.

The principle decided in the case of “Rice and Asplund” was reconsidered and re-affirmed in another case in January 2012, the Court saying that a party who seeks to have a Parenting Order varied needs to show both of 2 things:



  • The new events are sufficient to warrant a new trial enquiry about the parenting arrangements of the child; and also
  • The potential benefits to the Child from conducting that new enquiry justify the potential adverse consequences.


The change in circumstances being relied on must be significant, not modest or trivial.

Unfortunately there is not a list of things the Court considers to be a ‘significant change in circumstances’.

This means that apart from finding and reading previous cases, or obtaining legal advice from a Lawyer, there is nothing that you can use as a guide as to whether your own change in circumstances would be sufficient for a Court to decide whether it should change the Final Parenting Order previously made.

Whether there has been a ‘significant change in circumstances’ since the Final Parenting Order was made, is decided by Judges on a case by case basis.


  Connect with us on Facebook