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Family Law and the Airport Watch List

Do you have concerns your child may be removed from Australia without your consent? If so, it may be necessary for you to obtain an order from the Court limiting or preventing the child’s overseas travel.

The order will need to be directed to a named person and it should restrain him or her from removing a particular child from Australia. It can provide for an absolute prohibition on travel (unless a further order is made) or conditional prohibition, the primary difference being that in the case of conditional prohibition, a child may be permitted to travel with the authenticated consent of all the parties.

This order will then need to include or be followed by an Airport Watch List order.

An Airport Watch List order requests the Australian Federal Police to give effect to the order restraining the removal of a child by placing the name of the child on the Watch List in force at all points of arrival and departure in the Commonwealth of Australia.

Once an order is made placing a child’s name on the Airport Watch List, the order must be served on the Australian Federal Police.

The Australian Federal Police maintain the Watch List.  Practically speaking, the Australian Federal Police prefer orders which specific the period of time the child’s name is to remain on the Watch List, for example, two years. After the expiration of the specified period the Australian Federal Police will remove the child’s name from the Watch List to minimise the occurrence of outdated Watch List orders.

Nicholes Family Lawyers can assist with applications to place the name of a child on the Airport Watch List, or applications to remove a name from the list. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 9670 4122 should you require assistance in this regard.

By Nicholes Family Lawyers


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