Travelling internationally with a child can become a major issue for separated parents. Whether you want to take your child overseas or you want to prevent your child from being taken overseas, the process can be difficult and complicated.
If you are planning on travelling with your child, it is recommended to tell the other parent of your plans as soon as possible, include full details of the itinerary, and allow contact to be unrestricted if practicable.
Intending to travel
Obtaining a passport for a child involves the consent and signature of both parents or people who have parental responsibility. If the other parent refuses to sign the passport application, you will not be able to lodge it.
In this situation you will need to apply to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court for orders for travel and provide an affidavit outlining the particulars of the situation including:
- The reason for the travel;
- The travel itinerary;
- The effect to the child of the travel occurring or not occurring.
If the court approves the application, the passport application can be made.
Preventing a child from travelling
If you are concerned that your child may be taken out of Australia without your permission, you should seek legal advice immediately.
There are ways to prevent your child being taken overseas:
- Prevent a passport from being issued: if your child does not have a passport, you can issue a Child Alert Request, or apply for a Child Alert Order which would result in you being notified if a passport application is made.
- Ordering an Airport Watchlist notification: if your child already has a passport, you can apply for court orders to effectively disallow their departure from Australia. The child’s name would then be added to an Airport Watch List by the Australian Federal Police.
If you are planning a holiday, or you are concerned about the other parents’ movements with your child, it is important to get legal advice urgently.
Contact our team to find out how we can make this application on your behalf.