27 Sep Overseas Travel for Separated Parents
Many Australian families plan regular overseas trips each year to explore new places, perhaps visit friends and family who live far away, and to take time out from their everyday lives and relax. Going away on an overseas trip is perhaps even more enticing for parents who have recently endured a breakdown in their relationship.
One thing separated parents may not realise is that there are laws preventing them from taking or sending their children overseas (for any reason), if there are parenting Orders in place – even if those parenting Orders are Consent Orders.
Parenting Orders are common for separated parents. Once parents reach an agreement about ongoing parenting arrangements for their child/children, parenting Consent Orders are often the best way to formalise the agreement but it is important to get advice before signing to ensure that there are no issues.
What many people don’t realise is that, unless the parenting Order specifically provides for overseas travel, The Family Law Act states that you cannot take or send your children outside of Australia unless the other parent agrees. If you break those laws you will have committed a criminal offence with a penalty of 3 years’ imprisonment!
If parents are amicable and can agree to the overseas travel there will be no issue, but often that’s not the case and obtaining the other parents’ consent for overseas travel (each and every time you wish to go on a trip) may prove difficult.
Nobody wants to end up in Court (or back in Court) arguing over these issues and, similarly, nobody wants to end up being charged with a criminal offence. It is therefore critical for separating parents to consult a family lawyer and have them look over any parenting plan or parenting Consent Order before signing. If you are separated from your spouse/defacto partner and have children, contact Fedorov Lawyers for advice to ensure that your and your children’s interests are protected.