CHILD ISSUES AND PARENTING
CHILD PASSPORTS AND OVERSEAS TRAVEL

 

Matters considered by the Court regarding a Passport or Overseas Travel Order

 

Separated or Divorced Parents often can't agree on:

  • Whether a passport should be issued for a child.

  • Whether a child should travel overseas.

  • In what circumstances a child should travel overseas.

One of the most common questions asked by a separated or divorced parent wanting to take their child overseas, is whether both parents have to sign a passport application for a child, and in cases where a passport has already been issued, what else is necessary from the other parent before you can travel overseas with your child.

If you have not been able to reach agreement on these issues either directly with the other parent or at mediation, then after you have attended mediation you can make an Application to the Court asking the Court to make the orders you want.

If you make an Application to the Court, you must also file an Affidavit. 

An Affidavit is a statement of facts supporting your Application and should set out all relevant facts and circumstances.

You should put all of the facts you want to rely on and all of the facts you think will help your case in your Affidavit as well as attach copies of all relevant documents to your Affidavit.

To decide whether an Application should be granted, the Court will want to know:

  1. The length of the proposed stay;

  2. The genuineness of the Application (ie whether the proposed travel is only for a short holiday);

  3. The effect on the child of not having contact with the other parent for the time the child is overseas;

  4. Any threats to the welfare of the child by the circumstances of the proposed environment overseas;

  5. The degree of satisfaction of the Court that a promise to return the child to Australia will be honoured;

  6. Whether the provision of security is necessary, for example, to procure a return to Australia and to allow the non travelling parent to take action to obtain the travelling parent’s return, should they not do so;

  7. The degree of risk that the travelling parent will not return the child;

  8. Whether the country of travel is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction;

  9. The risk of deviation to a Non Hague Convention Country;

  10. Whether any Australian travel alerts exist for the destination, eg. Afghanistan, Bali;

  11. The financial circumstances of both parties.

Since a Court will want to know about all of these things, you should address each of those points in your Affidavit.

A Court Order will remain in place until the child turns 18 years unless the Court orders otherwise.

You can read more in our fact sheet about how to make an application to the court and obtaining a court order.

 

 

 

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Content By:
Michelle Beatty
MRB LAW

Other Questions answered in the Child Passports & Overseas Travel Section

 

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