06 Nov Can I prevent my child from travelling overseas after family separation?
Some parents may worry that their former partner who wishes to travel overseas with their child will not return. In these circumstances, a parent may file an urgent application to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia prohibiting the child from travelling overseas. This article will explore the orders that the Court can make to prevent a parent from traveling overseas with their child following separation. For information about travelling overseas with your child when subject to parenting orders, see Can I take my child overseas after family separation?
The Court has power to make orders which:
- Prevents a passport being issued for a child,
- Requires a person to deliver a child’s or accompanying adult’s passport to the Court, or
- Prevents a child from leaving Australia
Preventing a Child’s Passport Being Issued
To prevent a child’s Australian passport from being issued, a concerned parent may lodge a Child Alert Request at the Australian Passport Office or apply to the Court for a child order alert. A Child Alert Request to the passport office will warn the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) that a person may apply for a child passport without proper legal consent. If a child alert is in force and a child passport application is made, the parent who made the request will be notified by the DFAT.
A request to the passport office is valid for 12 months and a court ordered alert will stay in force until the child turns 18 or as otherwise directed by the Court.
It is important to note that a child alert will not stop a child departing Australia on a valid passport, including a foreign passport and will not cover passports of other countries. A parent who is concerned about a passport being issued by another country should contact the embassy of that country.
Delivery of Passport to the Court
The Court may order that the person in possession of the child’s passport deliver it to the Court. The order may specify that the Court keep the child’s passport for a specific amount of time or until further ordered, to prevent the child from leaving the country.
Preventing a Child from Leaving Australia
The Court can make orders which:
- Restrain the removal of a child from Australia,
- Request that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) place the child’s name on an Family Law Watchlist, and
- Request that the AFP assist in the implementation of the orders.
The AFP will not be automatically notified of the Court orders and must be provided with a copy of the order that places a child’s name on the Family Law
t Watchlist. The AFP will be alerted if a parent has tried to remove a child who is on the Family Law Watchlist from Australia and intervene to prevent them from doing so. A child will remain on the Family Law watchlist until further ordered by the Court, or until they turn 18.
For more information about your legal rights and responsibilities concerning international travel with your child following family separation, contact our experienced Family Law Team at Solari and Stock Lawyers. To speak with one of our team contact us on 8525 2700 or click here to request an appointment.
Remember to mention this article to receive your free 30 minute consultation regarding your matter.
For more information on travelling with children after a separation click on the following link to be taken to Mia’s article Can I take my child overseas after family separation?