Limits on children travelling overseas
Children travelling overseas (and efforts to retrieve them) has received a lot of media attention recently. It’s timely therefore to look at what Orders the Family Court can make to stop children travelling overseas.
Family Law ‘Watch List’ Orders are usually sought in circumstances where there is a risk that a parent may take a child from Australia without the other parent’s consent. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) place the child’s name and particulars on the ‘Watch List’ when an order is made by a court. It is only when there has been an order discharging the Watch List Order or the child attains the age of 18 years, that the AFP remove the child’s name from the list.
Recent data from the AFP has indicated that there are currently over 11,000 names on the ‘Watch List’ but they estimate that only about 3,000 names are current.For this reason consideration should be given as to whether a ‘sunset clause’ is included in a Court Order.Inclusion of a ‘sunset clause’ may avoid a long-forgotten ‘Watch List’ order surfacing years later, causing inconvenience and distress.