Section 90 – Application for Rescission or Variation of Children’s Court Orders

What happens after Final Orders are made in the Children’s Court?
Final Orders although ‘final’ do not mean that you are out of options.
If your children have been removed from you and Final Orders dictate they won’t be returning to live with you, a section 90 Application can be made with leave of the Children’s Court. If successful, a section 90 can reverse or change Final Orders made in the NSW Children’s Court.


Who can file a section 90?

An application for section 90 can be made by:

a)      The secretary;

b)      The child or young person;

c)      A person who has parental responsibility for the child or young person;

d)      A person who had parental responsibility for the child or young person removed from them; or

e)      Any person who considers themselves to have sufficient interest in the welfare the child.


When should you file your application?

For the court to grant leave for you to file, they must be sure that a significant change in relevant circumstances has been made since Final Orders. This means that before filing it is essential that you have addressed the concerns that the Department, other parties, and the Court have had with you as a parent.

To figure out what your specific issues are look to the Summary of Proposed Plan filed by the Department under the section ‘minimum requirements,’ or look to the section 82 Report (if one was filed). These issues will be different for every individual, but can include: 

-          Drug and alcohol addiction/misuse;

-          Homelessness;

-          Domestic Violence;

-          Parenting ability and capacity;

-          Criminal activity;

-          Anger Management;

-          Mental Health;

-          Sexual Assault; or

-          Physical, Psychological or Sexual Abuse.

Before granting leave the court will also consider (s90 (2A)):

a)      The nature of the application; and

b)      The age of the child;

c)      The length of time the child has been with the present carers; and

d)      Matters identified in the section 82 report or other reports prepared.


How do I show I have changed?

To show the Department, the Court, and any other parties that you have addressed their concerns there are a number of things you can do. These include:

-          Attend counselling for issues such as domestic violence, abuse or drugs/alcohol;

-          Cease contact with negative or violent people in your life;

-          Address drug and alcohol abuse/misuse and attend urinalysis if requested;

-          Attain clean, stable, child friendly accommodation through Housing NSW or other means;

-          Attend and complete appropriate parenting courses and seminars;

-          Obtain a mental health plan and attend upon doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists to address any mental health concerns;

-          Work with the Department by abiding with any reasonable requests; and

-          Attend contact with your children consistently, and behave appropriately at contact. 

Our office is able to refer you to any individuals or organisations that can assist you with the above.


How long will this take?

The length of time between Final Orders being made and Applying for section 90 will depend upon individual circumstances, but can take months or years.


For more information or to see if you should file a section 90 Application please contact our office on 9620 1379 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to speak to one of our experienced solicitors.

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