You would have no doubt seen the recent television coverage of the young children abducted to Lebanon on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes’ program?
This has raised some significant concerns in parents regarding whether you should allow your children to travel overseas with your former partner.
Many parents worry about what would happen if their former partner keeps the children and does not return to Australia.
Before agreeing to an overseas holiday, we recommend you consider the following:
- Have Family Court Orders in place
Formal court orders regarding overseas travel allow parents to apply to the court to have those orders enforced, if the travelling parent does not return with the children, as agreed.
- Only allow your children to travel to Hague Convention Countries
The Hague Convention is an international treaty entered into by numerous countries worldwide that provides avenues for a parent to recover a child if the travelling parent takes the child without consent. Allowing your child to travel to a non Hague Convention country, puts you at risk of not having access to the avenues of recovery as provided for in the treaty.
- Obtain an undertaking from your former partner and get a bond
An undertaking is a written promise to return the children to Australia by a certain date. It is also common for the travelling parent to provide a bond prior to travelling, to ensure that the children return home by the agreed date. The money is then returned once the children are home.
- What are the risks associated with the travel
Is your former partner a citizen of another country? Do they have family in that country? Have they ever expressed a desire to live in another country? Address these questions with your lawyer to determine whether to proceed with the other options above before agreeing to any travel.
It is important to consult with an experienced specialist family lawyer about these matters. It may give you peace of mind when allowing your children to travel overseas with your former partner.
Contact us today for a no obligation first free consultation – 02 9560 5811.
Author: Gabriella Arvanitis, Associate Lawyer, Family Law
Service: Family Law