NSW Can Parenting Orders Become Invalid?

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5 November 2014
OK long story short, my husband and his ex separated in 2010. At the beginning of 2011, she gave up custody of their 4 boys, we went to court and parenting orders were put in place giving my husband full legal custody of children with her having frequent visitation.

In 2012, once her mental state had improved significantly and she had a good job and permanent residence, my husband let her take the kids back on a full time basis and they have lived with her since with us having visitation every 2nd weekend and half school holidays.

She now wants to move interstate, something that we aren't agreeing to and she said that because the kids have been with her for so long that the parenting orders are now invalid. Is this true? Also how far away can she move under family law without having to get permission?


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
Parenting orders remain effective until the children turn 18. Either party can apply to have them changed, but they will need to prove the standards set by Rice & Asplund, which is (loosely) that there has been a significant change in circumstances, making the orders impractical or no longer able to meet the children's best interests. As a matter of interest, the court will generally consider the opinions of the children, if they are deemed old enough and mature enough to make informed decisions about their own wants and needs.

In regards to relocation, there are no laws specifically restricting her from moving (unless it's in your orders), but if she does so without your consent, your husband will be able apply for an urgent recovery order for the kids, which, given that your husband has sole parental responsibility, has an extremely high chance of being granted because sole parental responsibility means it is fundamentally his decision - not the mother's - where the kids live and who with.

I hope this helps.
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