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Recovery Orders in Family Law

Where one parent unilaterally relocates after separation where there is no agreement from the other parent that they be permitted to relocate with the children either intrastate or interstate, this may give rise to a recovery order under Part VII of the Family Law Act 1975 (“The Act”).

Pursuant to Section 67Q of the Act, a Court can require a child to be returned to a parent of the child or another person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child. A recovery order can also prohibit the person from again removing or taking possession of the child. Recovery Orders are usually sought on an urgent interim basis but can also be sought on a final basis or both.

Recovery Orders are usually associated with the process of an Australian Federal Police Officer going to recover the children or otherwise by agreement as to the details of the return.

Nicholes Family Lawyers have been involved in a number of successful interim recovery Orders in the past 6 months. Our most recent case involved the return of a child from New South Wales to Melbourne following the mother refusing to return the child to our client after being on holidays in New South Wales with her family.

If you are seeking to relocate your child’s residence intrastate, interstate, or overseas and the other parent does not agree to the relocation then prior to moving you must obtain an Order from the Family Court of Australia.

Each case is decided on its own merits and if you are considering relocation you should receive legal advice prior to relocating to avoid having a Recovery Order made against you. It is important to be fully aware of your legal responsibilities prior to making a decision to leave with your children.


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