Reading Time: 2 minutes

In our recent article on Family Law Watch List, we state that parents undergoing divorce or separation proceedings who are concerned that the other parent may be taking the children overseas can apply to have their children placed on the airport watch list. But what happens if your children have been removed from your care or their authorised guardian’s care by an ex-partner to somewhere else in Australia without your permission?

This brings us to our topic today on Recovery Order.


What is a Recovery Order?

Recovery order is defined under section 67Q of the Family Law Act 1975 where it is an order made by the Family Court to a person or authorities for state and federal departments such as a police officer to recover and return a child (or children) to: –

  • a parent of the child (or children), or
  • a person with a parenting order that states the child (or children) lives with them, spends time with or communicates with them, or
  • a person who has parental responsibility for the child (or children).

The order may also include: 

  • provide directions about the day-to-day care of a child (or children) until they are returned or delivered to the relevant party; and
  • an authority for the state and federal departments to arrest without warrant any person who again removes or take possession of the child (or children).

When Can You Apply for a Recovery Order?

You can apply for a recovery order if your child (or children) are taken away from your care to somewhere else in Australia by your ex-partner without your permission.

This could include situations where:

  • someone who normally spends time with your children refuses or fails to return the children to your care (even if there are no parenting orders in place);
  • someone who does not usually spend time with the children has taken the children from your care, and refuses or fails to return them; or
  • the children have relocated (or are about to relocate) a long distance away to somewhere else in Australia, without your agreement or the court’s permission.

As you will need to show that it is in the best interests of the child (or children) to be returned to your care, it is important that you obtain legal advice to understand your rights and options before making an application to the court for a recovery order.

If you would like to apply for a Child Recovery Order or find out more about your rights and options, Straits Lawyers are here to help. Simply send us an email at or give us a call on 8410 9069 to arrange an appointment for an online interview.



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.