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Relocation and Recovery

Moving interstate with children after separation

It is common for one or both parents to wish to relocate after separation. This is less problematic when relocation does not affect existing or proposed arrangements for children. If you or your ex-partner is considering relocation, it is important to seek legal advice. If one parent relocates without the consent of the other, they may apply to the court for an Order that the child be returned. The Order will be granted if the court determines it is in the child’s best interests. If you wish to relocate with your children, we recommend obtaining the other parent’s consent and a Court Order permitting relocation first. If permission is not granted, we will assist you by applying to the Court for permission.

Applying for Location Orders

You may apply for location and Recovery Orders where you are prevented from having contact with your children. This occurs where the other parent has taken your child without disclosing their location. We understand this can be especially frightening and we are committed to helping you recover your children by applying to the Court for location and Recovery Orders.  A Location Order compels anybody with knowledge of your ex-partner’s whereabouts disclose this information to the Court. Location Orders can be made to obtain information from Centrelink, the ATO, banks and other third parties.

Applying for Recovery Orders 

Once your child’s location is discovered, we can help you apply for a Recovery Order. It’s important to remember that the Court is not a child recovery agency. If the Court makes an Order authorising or directing another person or persons to find, recover and deliver the child, you must give a copy of the Order to that person or persons. In most instances, this will be the Australian Federal Police (AFP). We will help you throughout this process.

Helpful Questions & Answers

International parental child abduction & kidnapping

Australia is a signatory to the Hague Convention. The Hague Convention provides a process through which a parent can seek to have their child returned to their home country from another member country. For a list of member nations, click here.

Stanley & Co Lawyers understand the key requirements and criteria for making applications to the Family Court of Australia under the Hague Convention as well as dealing with international authorities and jurisdictional hurdles in a variety of countries around the world.

If your child is taken overseas without your permission we will coordinate with Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department on your behalf.

Interstate parental child abduction & kidnapping

If your child is taken interstate without your consent, you will have to travel interstate at your own expense before the recovery order is executed.

This is because the police will not normally execute a recovery order unless you are with them at or near the place where the child is to be recovered. If you lack the resources to make the journey, you may seek emergency financial assistance from the Department for Child Protection.

How can I prevent my child from being taken overseas?

If you are concerned about your child leaving the country without your permission, you should call or book a free consultation with our Adelaide Family Lawyers. Stanley & Co Lawyers can help you apply to the Court for an Order that:

  • Prevents a passport being issued to a child by lodging a child alert request at the Australian Passport Office;
  • Applying to the Court for a child alert order;
  • Requires a person to deliver the child or their passport to the Court;
  • Prevents a child from leaving Australia;
  • Restrain the removal of a child from Australia;
  • Request the AFP place the child’s name on an Airport Watch list; and
  • Request the AFP assists in implementing the order(s).

Self Help Resources

For more information about travelling with your child/ren overseas, see the Children and international travel after family separationf act sheet.

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