Travelling overseas with a child can be quite difficult in itself without the added complexity of trying to arrange overseas travel when there are Family Law proceedings before the Courts in relation to parenting matters.
Passports, visas, flights, accommodation and other travel arrangements may be planned, however travelling overseas with your child without obtaining a Court order or without obtaining the written consent of the other parent is an offence punishable with up to 3 years of imprisonment.
Sections 65Y and 65Z of the Family Law Act prohibit the taking or sending of a child from Australia to a place outside Australia unless it is done with the consent in writing of each other party to the proceedings or is done in accordance with an order of a Court.
Conversely, if you become aware of your former spouse intending to travel overseas without your consent there are steps that you as a parent can take to place the children on the airport watch list and have the Australian Federal Police prevent the children from boarding any aircraft or vessel and leave Australia irrespective of whether there are proceedings before the Family Law Courts.
Any parent who has separated and is seeking to travel overseas with a child should first obtain legal advice prior to making any arrangements to do so, especially in circumstances where there are parenting matters before the Family Law Courts.
The last thing a parent would want to see is a child getting excited about overseas travel with their bags packed and arriving at the airport only to be told by the Australian Federal Police that they are not permitted to board their plane and travel to their overseas destination.
By Pierre Hawach, McAuley Hawach Lawyers
Accredited Specialist – Family Law
Telephone: (02) 9633 1826
Parramatta Office: Level 7 | 9 George Street | Parramatta NSW 2150 | Australia
PO Box 873 | Parramatta NSW 2124 | Australia
DX 8282 Parramatta
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