The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA) sets out strict requirements for travelling overseas with children where there are orders in force or proceedings on foot under the FLA. Section 65Y of the FLA provides that where there is a parenting order in force, a person who was a party to the proceedings in which the order was made, or a person who is acting on behalf of, or at the request of, a party, must not take or send the child concerned from Australia to a place outside Australia, without the authenticated written consent of the person in whose favour the order was made; or a court order. Section 65Z makes the same provision in relation to circumstances where there are pending proceedings for parenting orders.
Many family law litigants are unaware of these provisions, an d may therefore inadvertently fall foul of them. What one parent may view as a simple overseas holiday may have serious consequences if the relevant provisions are not complied with.
A breach of either of these sections is an offence, which attracts a penalty of three years’ imprisonment. In addition, breaching either of these provisions can have serious consequences for a party’s parenting application, particularly if the Court finds that the party has little regard for their legal obligations or for the necessity that the child’s other parent be consulted in relation to the removal of the child from the country.
It is therefore crucial that, in circumstances where there are pending proceedings or orders made in relation to children, legal advice is sought prior to taking such children out of Australia, to ensure that the requirements of the FLA are complied with in full and no offence is committed.
Nicholes Family Lawyers can provide the necessary advice and can assist with preparing the necessary consent or applying for a Court order if necessary. Should you require assistance in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us on 9670 4122.