Q&As

Can undertakings given in Family Law Act 1996 proceedings be varied or amended by consent or otherwise?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 18/12/2019

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can undertakings given in Family Law Act 1996 proceedings be varied or amended by consent or otherwise?

Pursuant to section 46 of the Family Law Act 1996 (FLA 1996), the court may accept undertakings from any party in proceedings where the court has power to make an occupation order or non-molestation order. An undertaking is a promise to the court (rather than to another party) to do or not to do something, and it may be enforced as a contempt of court punishable by committal proceedings. Often, undertakings are given by a respondent in the terms roughly similar to the order sought by the applicant within the Family Law Act application as a way of resolving proceedings swiftly and without the risk of findings being made.

There are some limitations on when the court may accept an undertaking, for example, the court must not accept undertakings instead of making a non-molestation ord

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