Relocation and travel in AU 

Family Law

Relocation occurs when a person moves to a new city, state, or nation with their child (or children). A court might not approve the transfer if it would affect how much time their child spends with their parents, another important person in their lives, or both. If a person intends to move and their child primarily lives with them, the person should first try to contact the other parent. 

It is illegal to take (remove) or send a child from Australia if a parenting order has been made about that child or if someone has applied for one unless all other parties to the parenting order (or parenting proceedings) have “authenticated written consent” to that removal (either generally or in a specific way, such as during specific dates and/or to a specific location), or a court has made that decision. 

It is unlawful to keep a child overseas in any way other than that allowed by authenticated written consent or an order when the child has been taken (or sent) outside of Australia in compliance with one of these documents. Examples include keeping the child abroad longer than allowed or sending (or taking) them somewhere that isn’t on the list of allowed places. Each of those offences carries a three-year prison sentence as punishment. It is referred to in the Family Law Act of 1975’s provisions 65Y, 65YA, 65Z, and 65ZAA. 

Usually, a move will indicate that the current parenting plans are no longer workable. For instance, due to the distance between the parents’ travel times, it is frequently impractical for a child of school age to visit the parent who is “left behind” (not relocating) during the school week or even the entire academic year. 

Parents frequently agree to a move on the understanding that the child will spend a lot of time with the parent who is staying behind during the summer to make up for the lack of time spent together during the school year. 

If a person and the other party (or other parties) have decided to relocate and make relevant preparations, he/she should formally state their understanding. To ensure they are not left behind, the other parent may also choose to move in particular circumstances. Attend family dispute resolution counselling if the person and the other person have spoken about a prospective relocation and would like assistance in coming to an agreement. 

If a person and the other party cannot agree, they may ask the court to issue parenting orders. These orders may allow that person to move with a child or prevent the other party from moving with a child. For example, the court may order that the child’s residence not be more than 30 kilometres from their present location if they want to move with a child. 

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction might allow a person to get support if their child (or a child for whom the person has parental responsibility) was abducted from their country of origin without their knowledge and without a court’s approval (Hague Convention). 

The primary international treaty that addresses the kidnapping of a parent abroad is the Hague Convention. It offers a procedure for parents to request the return of their kids to their country of origin. The Hague Convention establishes a central body in each signatory nation to handle requests for the return of children brought into or out of each nation. The central authority in Australia is the Attorney-Department Generals of the Australian Government. 

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