After an Order has been made, further applications may be needed for particular situations. For example, circumstances may change, so you may need to change or cancel the Order. Or you have an Article 179(14) against you or you wish to enforce or appeal an Order.
Remember, if you are seeking to change, cancel or appeal an existing Order, make sure you apply to the correct level of court.
Change or cancel an existing Order
It is possible to change or cancel an Order when circumstances change or if the Order is no longer in the child’s best interests. Changing the Order is referred to as varying the Order. Cancelling the Order is known as discharging the Order.
For example, if the contact parent’s work hours change, the terms of the Order may no longer be possible to follow. The parent could apply for the Order to be varied to reflect these changes.
Try to agree before returning to court
If possible, the parents or persons with parental responsibility should try to agree any changes between themselves before returning to court.
If you can agree without the need for the existing Order to be changed, there is no requirement to go back to the court but you may want to have the new agreement documented in writing. If it breaks down, the terms of the original Order will still be in place until it is formally changed.
If you do agree a change in an Order, you may want the changes to be made to the Order. That would require an application to court for a judge to approve and change the Order to reflect the agreed changes.
If you cannot agree
If you cannot agree a change in the existing arrangements for the child, you can apply to the court to vary the court Order and explain the change of circumstances.
How the judge decides
The judge will decide whether or not the Order should be varied or cancelled by considering the Welfare Checklist and any other relevant evidence - see Welfare Checklist. If the Order is varied, then the new variation will become legally binding and must be complied with. If the Order is cancelled, the Order no longer applies.
How to apply to cancel or vary the Order
If there are no other court proceedings taking place, the person seeking to apply to change or cancel the Order will need to apply using Form C1 - see Apply for an Order.
If there are ongoing proceedings, the applicant will need to complete a Form C2 - see Applying in on-going proceedings.
Make sure you apply to the correct level of court.
Restricted from applying for an Order: an Article 179(14) Order
In some circumstances, a judge will decide that someone who normally has an automatic right to make a request to the court has to ask the court’s permission before making any more applications. For example, a parent who does not live with their child.
The judge may decide this because they consider it is necessary for the child or because the child and parties would benefit from a break in legal proceedings. In this case, the judge may make an Article 179(14) Order.
Either of the parties to the case can request an Article 179(14) Order is made or the judge can decide to make one without the parties requesting it.
This Order puts a time limit on when the next court application can be made.
If you have an Article 179(14) Order and want to make another application before the time limit is up, you need to get the court’s permission to do this - see Asking for permission to apply for an order.