Act fast to avoid problems.
Part 1. Stopping your children from travelling overseas.
It is an all too common occurrence in Family Law matters where one parent takes it upon themselves to move to another city, state or even country with their children without consulting or obtaining agreement from the other parent.
So what do you need to do?
Firstly, if you suspect your former partner is going to take your child overseas and you are involved in family law court proceedings you can put your child’s name on the family law watch list (formerly known as the airport watch list).
If you are not currently in court regarding your children you will need to act fast and make an urgent ex-parte application (sole application without needing to serve the other parent before the hearing) to the Court seeking an injunction stopping your former partner from taking your child overseas.
If you believe that the matter cannot wait until the next working day there is an emergency number to call with the Family Court of Australia and they can help you with your matter if it is deemed urgent enough.
This will prevent your former partner from travelling with your child until such time that the issues can be resolved by agreement or by Order of the Court.
Hague Convention Matters in Brisbane
One of the most pertinent considerations is whether or not your former partner intends travelling to a country that is not a party to the Hague Convention (The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction). If so you have recourse through diplomatic means to have your child returned to Australia on an urgent basis. If not then you may face a difficult time trying to see your children again.
If your former partner travels to a non-Hague Convention country then there are no legal remedies from Australia that you can use to have them returned. Even locating your children may become a difficult (or impossible) exercise.
So the good news is that if you act fast you can prevent your former partner (or anyone else for that matter) from removing your children from Australia. Seek specialist Family Law advice to understand your options more clearly.