How do I get my child returned from overseas?
It can be very stressful for a parent when the other parent takes a child overseas and doesn’t return. It is important to be aware in these situations that the government has a facility available that can help. What is that?
The Australian Central Authority provides the lawful procedure for seeking the return of abducted children to their home country, so that custody issues can be resolved.
Processing an Application
In order for the Australian Central Authority to process an Application for the return of a child who has been taken overseas, the following criteria must be met:
- The child must be under the age of 16 years;
- You must have “rights of custody” in relation to the child;
- You must have been exercising rights of custody at the time your child was wrongfully removed from, or retained outside, Australia;
- Your child must have been habitually resident in Australia immediately before your child was wrongfully removed from, or retained outside, Australia;
- Your child must have been taken to, or be retained in, a country which is a party to the Hague Convention. For a list of Hague Convention countries see and
- Your child must have been taken from Australia or kept in another convention country without your consent, or without a court order.
The Application form to be completed with the Australian Central Authority can be found on the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department website here.
Certain documents may need to be attached to your Application such as a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, photographs of the child and person who abducted the child, a certified copy of any Parenting Orders, a copy of your Certificate of Marriage and Divorce Order (if applicable).
Generally, it is important to make any Application to the Central Authority as soon as possible, if your child has been taken overseas to a Hague Convention Country without your consent.
How can we help?
At Michael Lynch Family Lawyers we can assist you in relation to all aspects of parenting matters including recovery orders, orders for children to be placed on the Family Law Watchlist and Parenting Orders.
To get specialised advice with one of our experienced family lawyers, contact our Brisbane office today. We offer a fixed fee, no obligation initial appointment. To arrange, phone (07) 3221 4300 or email [email protected] or fill in our online form here.