How to Get Your Child Returned
Your child has been on holiday time with their other parent, but hasn’t been returned to you as agreed. What do you do? Steps can be taken, and quickly, to ensure their recovery and return to you. Here’s what they are:
There is a recovery process, under the Family Law Act, if a parent has unilaterally retained a child and will not return the child to the other parent’s care. This is called a recovery order. To get a recovery order you need a parenting order. This is particularly relevant where the parent is in breach of parenting orders which set out where a child is to live.
A recent court case considered a matter, which had previously been determined by the court and had final parenting orders made. Those final parentings orders provided for the child to live with the mother and spend no time with the father, having found that the father posed an unacceptable risk to the child.
Only 3 months after the final order was made, the mother received a telephone call from one of the children saying that he was with the father. The father made no attempts to return the child to the mother. The father even went so far as to enrol the child in a school near his residence.
The mother filed an application with the court requesting the court make an order for the recovery of the child and that the order be addressed to the Family Court Marshall and the Australian Federal Police.
The court granted the mother’s request and made the order on an exparte basis (ie. urgently and without notice to the father). The court determined that in circumstances where the father had shown a disregard for the orders and posed a risk to the child, it was appropriate that he not be on notice of the decision.
To reduce stress during the sensitive family law matters, especially when children are involved, speak to your Family Law Specialist. We offer a fixed-fee initial consultation. Call (07) 3221 4300 to arrange an appointment.