My ex-partner wants to take our child overseas, can they do that without my permission?
Whether a child is permitted to travel overseas is a guardianship decision. This means that both parents must consent to the child travelling or you must obtain an order from the court that allows you to travel overseas with a child.
The Family Court is generally supportive of children travelling overseas, as long as there is no risk that they will be kept there or other risk to their safety.
If you think your ex is taking your child overseas without your permission, you can ask the Family Court for an Order Preventing Removal. You’ll need a lawyer for this, and you may be able to get legal aid for it.
If you know that your child will be taken out of the country very soon, you will need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible and tell them how urgent it is, so they can ask for an urgent hearing if necessary.
You should start this process as soon as possible, as it will be harder to ask them to return once they’re out of the country.
If the Order is granted, the Court may:
- Order that the child’s passport be handed over to the authorities,
- Order that the other parent hand over their travel documents.
You can also ask for a border alert which alerts Customs officers and stops the child from leaving the country.