fbpx

Children travelling overseas without consent

In some cases, parents of children in dispute may disagree about overseas travel with the children. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, then an option is for either parent to apply for Watchlist Orders.

This can be a particularly serious and contentious issue in circumstances where the proposed travel is not consented to by the non-travelling parent and where there is a genuine fear that:

  • The travelling parent may not return to the country with the child or children.

OR

  • The proposed travel plans are dangerous or not in the child or children’s best interest.

What is a Watchlist Order

Watchlist Orders place the names of children on a watchlist and effectively prevents the child or children from being taken out of the country. Also called Family Law Watchlist or Airport Watchlist, it operates at places of departure from Australia by air (airport) and sea. 

How to obtain Watchlist Orders

If you have a current family law case, you can file an Application in a Case and a supporting Affidavit with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

If you do not have a current family law case, you will need to:

OR

           Apply for an exemption from this requirement. Exemptions will only be granted in limited circumstances, and you should get legal advice first.

  • Prepare and file an Initiating Application, an Affidavit and a Notice of Risk usually in the Federal Circuit Court or Local Court. Attach the section 60I certificate and any parenting plans or court orders to the Initiating Application.
  • Pay a filing fee or apply for a fee exemption by completing the Application for exemption from fees.
 

Before filing such an application, the applicant must be satisfied that there is a real concern that the other parent may not return to Australia with the child or children or have a genuine reason for not consenting to the child or children travelling with the other parent.

Absolute vs Conditional Order

An absolute order prevents your child or children from travelling altogether until a further order is made. If no further order is made, your child’s name will be removed from the Watchlist at the end of the period of time stated in the order or when they turn 18.

A conditional order will allow your child or children to travel overseas if the parents provide ‘authenticated consent’. This consent is a signed statutory declaration by both parties, which can be provided to the Australian Federal Police. It also shows that the parents consent to the child leaving Australia for a particular period.

an image of a girl waving goodbye to her mother sitting in the car, watchlists orders.
Removing a Child from the Watchlist

The child’s name will expire pursuant to the Family Law Order for a defined period, when the child turns 18 years of age (if there is not a defined period), or otherwise pursuant to further court order.

Need help with your Parenting Orders?

AussieLegal offers a range of family law services, including the preparation of Parenting Orders through our Consent Orders service. This includes the preparation of your application form and independent legal advice and certification for both parties. We can also prepare both your Parenting Orders and Financial Orders at the same time and through the same application.

Call us on 1300 728 200 to discuss your situation with one of our consultants.

Children travelling overseas without consent

In some cases, parents of children in dispute may disagree about overseas travel with the children. If the parents cannot reach an agreement, then an option is for either parent to apply for Watchlist Orders.

This can be a particularly serious and contentious issue in circumstances where the proposed travel is not consented to by the non-travelling parent and where there is a genuine fear that:

  • The travelling parent may not return to the country with the child or children.

OR

  • The proposed travel plans are dangerous or not in the child or children’s best interest.

What is a Watchlist Order

Watchlist Orders place the names of children on a watchlist and effectively prevents the child or children from being taken out of the country. Also called Family Law Watchlist or Airport Watchlist, it operates at places of departure from Australia by air (airport) and sea. 

How to obtain Watchlist Orders

If you have a current family law case, you can file an Application in a Case and a supporting Affidavit with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

If you do not have a current family law case, you will need to:

OR

           Apply for an exemption from this requirement. Exemptions will only be granted in limited circumstances, and you should get legal advice first.

  • Prepare and file an Initiating Application, an Affidavit and a Notice of Risk usually in the Federal Circuit Court or Local Court. Attach the section 60I certificate and any parenting plans or court orders to the Initiating Application.
  • Pay a filing fee or apply for a fee exemption by completing the Application for exemption from fees.
 

Before filing such an application, the applicant must be satisfied that there is a real concern that the other parent may not return to Australia with the child or children or have a genuine reason for not consenting to the child or children travelling with the other parent.

Absolute vs Conditional Order

An absolute order prevents your child or children from travelling altogether until a further order is made. If no further order is made, your child’s name will be removed from the Watchlist at the end of the period of time stated in the order or when they turn 18.

A conditional order will allow your child or children to travel overseas if the parents provide ‘authenticated consent’. This consent is a signed statutory declaration by both parties, which can be provided to the Australian Federal Police. It also shows that the parents consent to the child leaving Australia for a particular period.

an image of a girl waving goodbye to her mother sitting in the car, watchlists orders.
Removing a Child from the Watchlist

The child’s name will expire pursuant to the Family Law Order for a defined period, when the child turns 18 years of age (if there is not a defined period), or otherwise pursuant to further court order.

Need help with your Parenting Orders?

AussieLegal offers a range of family law services, including the preparation of Parenting Orders through our Consent Orders service. This includes the preparation of your application form and independent legal advice and certification for both parties. We can also prepare both your Parenting Orders and Financial Orders at the same time and through the same application.

Call us on 1300 728 200 to discuss your situation with one of our consultants.

Australia's leading provider of
affordable legal kits and paralegal services

Contact Information

© Copyright 2023 AussieLegal Pty Ltd | Created by 😎 people from ICON