Overseas travel with children after separation

It is advisable to obtain advice from a family lawyer if you are considering overseas travel with your children, and you have not formalised any parenting arrangements in relation to your children.

Invariably, it will depend on your circumstances whether it is advisable to either take your children overseas for a holiday, or to allow them to be taken overseas on a holiday by another person.

In some cases, it is a criminal offence to take children overseas.

My former partner won't agree to the children travelling overseas me with. What can I do about it?

In the event you and your former partner cannot reach agreement about your children travelling overseas, you may need to make application to the Federal Circuit Court seeking orders from the Court under the Family Law Act 1975 and the Australian Passports Act 2005, permitting you to take your children overseas.

Can I apply for a passport for my kids?

According to the Australian Passports Act 2005, a passport application for children under the age of 18 years must be signed by both parents, or any person with parental responsibility (or with whom the child spends time) pursuant to an order by the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia.

There are very limited circumstances in which a passport application for a person under the age of 18 years will be accepted without the signature of both parents, or an order of the Court.

Can I stop my former partner from travelling overseas with our kids?

If you are concerned about your children being removed from Australia, you should obtain legal advice immediately. An ‘airport watch list’ order or ‘pace alert’ order made by the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia will prevent any person from removing or attempting to remove children from Australia.

The Court will hear applications for an airport watch list order from a parent urgently if there are concerns about children being removed from Australia.

What else do I need to know?

If you intend to take your children overseas, you should seek independent legal advice before taking any further steps to arrange your travel as in some cases, it is illegal to remove children from Australia whilst there are proceedings before the Court.

For advice about your particular circumstances telephone us to make an appointment on (02) 6225 7040 or email us at [email protected].