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Travelling Overseas

Prior to making your booking for any holiday overseas, you must first seek the approval of the other parent before travelling with children.

If there is no agreement, and you attempt to board a plane bound for an overseas destination, you may be stopped at Customs.

The Family Law Courts and the Australian Federal Police have the means of preventing overseas travel of a child upon a parent making an application for a Family Law Watch List Order.

A Family Law Watchlist Order applies to all modes of international travel, including by plane or ship.  There have been many cases where parents have attempted to leave the country only to find a Family Law Watchlist Order or Application has been made preventing the child from travelling.  To avoid this scenario:

  1. Discuss with the other parent your intention to travel including the proposed dates, destination and whether communication by phone or other means will be facilitated during the trip.
  2. If agreed, provide the other parent with your itinerary so that they are aware of the return trip details including address and contact details of where you intend to stay.

If you do not obtain agreement to travel from the other parent and you are still intending to travel, be prepared and file an application with the Family Law Courts.  Given the potential for delays, you need to be aware that the Court may take at least 3 months to hear your application to travel so it is important to think ahead of any upcoming trips.

In some cases, travelling to overseas may not be agreed by a parent if there is an alleged risk that the children will not be returned.  This is a more complex issue that will likely need to be determined by a Court.  There are ways in which a Court can be persuaded to allow overseas travel despite the alleged risk which can include for the travelling parent to provide:

  1. Evidence of a return ticket;
  2. Evidence that they have strong ties to Australia and are less likely to leave the country permanently;
  3. A security deposit that is paid before leaving and returned to that parent upon their return with the children.

What about travelling interstate?

Interstate travel is less strict than overseas travel.  It is always recommended to provide the other parent with information as to your intended dates of travel and destination to give the other parent an opportunity to provide their consent or refusal for such travel.

If you do travel without consent, the other parent may bring an urgent application to have the child placed in their care or returned to them if such travel has already occurred.  To avoid this scenario, it is always best to obtain the other parent’s consent first.

If you are thinking of travelling overseas or interstate and are not sure whether you need parenting orders, before booking any trips, contact Lewis Family Lawyers and we can discuss with you all of the options you have available.

 

 

Memberships and Associations

Lewis Family Lawyers

Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au

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Sydney Office

Level 30, 133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9159 9049
Mobile: 0438 800 996

Bowral Office

Suite 2B, 11-13 Bundaroo Street
Bowral NSW 2576
Phone: 02 4263 9011

Email: info@lewisfamilylawyers.com.au