Having access to one’s child and ensuring their wellbeing remains a top priority for many parents after a divorce or separation. If you are concerned about an ex-partner seeking to take your child outside Australia without your consent, there are a number of ways to put your mind at ease.
First and foremost, if you have an operating or pending parenting order that includes terms for overseas travels for your child, this would impact the ability to take them overseas. Taking a child outside of Australia in breach of conditions of an existing parenting order may constitute an offence with a penalty of up to three years imprisonment. The same offence is committed if a child is taken overseas while such a parenting order is pending decision.
If a parenting order does not exist, you can still prevent your child from leaving Australia. You can prevent a passport from being issued for your child by lodging a Child Alert Request at the Australian Passport Office or apply to the Court for a child alert order. However, such an order will not automatically result in a refusal of the child’s passport application.
If your child already has a valid passport, you can apply to the Court for an order to have the child’s passport delivered to the Court where it will be held. The Court may also make orders to restrain your child from being removed from Australia and place your child’s name on the Airport Watch List. Be sure that you apply to have the child’s name removed from the list once you consent to the child travelling or wish to take the child overseas yourself.
Please keep in mind that while you are taking steps to prevent your child from being taken overseas, the other parent may take counter actions. These matters can often become complex. Whether it is your former partner or yourself planning to take your child overseas, Straits Lawyers can help you navigate your legal options and obligations.
Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (08) 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment.
Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.