Obtaining a Court Order regarding a Passport
or Overseas Travel


Separated or Divorced Parents can often have difficulty having the other parent sign a passport application form for their child.

Parents who have separated or divorced may also have concerns about the other parent taking the child travelling overseas.

If one of the parents will not sign the passport application form, then you might be able to make an application under special circumstances to the Australian Passports Office.

You can read more about a special circumstances application in our fact sheet Getting a Passport for a Child.

If your special circumstances application is not granted, if you don't have special circumstances, if you do not wish to make a special circumstances application or if the matter is urgent, then you can apply to the Court for an Order than a passport be issued for a child despite the other parent not having signed the passport application form.

In most cases you will need to have attempted mediation before you can make an application to the Court.


Types of Orders made by a Court


As a parent you can make an Application to the Court for Orders that:

  1. A passport for the child be issued despite the other parent not signing the passport application form.

  2. The other parent sign the passport application form.

  3. A passport for the child not be issued.

  4. The child may leave Australia and travel overseas.

  5. The child may not leave Australia.

  6. A PACE alert be issued enabling the Australian Federal Police place the child on an Airport Watch List.

  7. The child is only to travel to certain destinations, for example only to countries for which the government has not issued a travel warning or only to Hague Convention Countries.

  8. The child is only to travel for certain lengths of time.

  9. The child’s passport (and/or that of the accompanying parent) be held by the Court and returned to the Court upon their return from overseas.

  10. The child may only travel after (or a passport released to a parent) after certain conditions are met, for example, at least four weeks in advance the travelling parent has given the other parent copies of their itinerary and return tickets as well as contact information and details of where they will be staying while travelling.

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


How to make an Application to a Court


To make an application to the Court, the forms you will need to file in Court, are both an Application as well as an Affidavit in support.

Your Application will state the specific orders you want the court to make.

Your Affidavit in support of your application should state all of the facts and circumstances relevant to the matter, including those you want to rely on.

Basically your Affidavit should say all of the facts that you think will help your case or are relevant.

After you file three copies (one for the court, one for you and one for you to serve on the other parent) of your Application and Affidavit in Court, the Court will seal the documents and write the court date on the court sealed documents.

You will then need to have the court sealed copies of the Application and Affidavit formally served on the other parent.

After the other parent has been served with court sealed copies of all of the documents, you will have to file an Affidavit of Service so that you can prove to the Court that the other parent was served with copies of all the documents.



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Content By:
Michelle Beatty

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