A child travelling overseas with a parent can often be an area of concern between separated couples especially when one party has their family roots in a different country. It is illegal to travel overseas with a child under the age of 18 years if Parenting Orders are in place, without permission of all the parties to the Order or an Order of the court permitting travel.
What are your options:
1. SEE A SOLICITOR: Speak to your Solicitor so that they may communicate on your behalf with your ex and resolve travel arrangements and particulars quickly and amicably.
2. MEDIATION: In the instance communication via solicitors fails invite the other party to Mediation in order to address the issue. If the matter is not resolved at Mediation, the Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will give you a 60 I Certificate (Family Dispute Resolution Certificate). This Certificate is required to bring an Application before the Court.
3. COURT: Courts are often approached as a last resort. Lodge an Application with the Court in relation to Parenting Matters. You should give yourself enough time, at least 6 months, before your proposed holiday to lodge your Application and have the matter heard and addressed.
A. In order to determine the outcome of an Application the Court takes the following into account:
(i) Length of the proposed holiday
(ii) Effect on the child due to time away from the non-travelling parent
(iii) Any threat or concerns for the safety of the child or children travelling
(iv) Whether the Court is convinced that the party travelling will return to the Australian jurisdiction
B. The party intending to travel might need to provide the following evidence to the Court:
(i) Proposed length of stay and the purpose of travel
(ii) Benefits, if any, to the child/children from this travel
(iii) Itinerary of proposed travel, copy of the airline tickets, flight details and accommodation details to be provided to the Court and the other party prior to departure
(iv) Places where the child/children will be staying, contact details, address, e-mail addresses and phone numbers
(v) Proposed method or methods of communication between the child/children and the non-travelling parent
(vi) Evidence of ties between the travelling parent to Australia such as employment, business interests, close family ties, house, property or assets
(vii) Whether the intended country of travel is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction
The Court is often concerned about the fact that the party travelling with the children might not return to Australia. The Court might in that instance require a surety to be provided by the parent intending to remove the children from the jurisdiction and to ensure the safe return of the child/children.
The sum for the surety is determined so as to be realistically enticing enough to ensure the return of the travelling parent and sufficient enough to enable the non-travelling parent to take measure for the recovery of the children in the event of an unfortunate turn of events.
If you are intending to travel with your children steps need to be taken well in advance of your departure date so that you are not stopped at the Airport.