International travel is commonplace for children of separated families – whether the travel be for holidays, education or to visit family overseas.
However with such travel comes the risk to some parents and children, that a child may wrongfully be taken outside of Australia, or a parent (or other care giver) may wrongfully refuse to return a child to Australia after an international trip.
Fortunately, Australia, likely many – but not all – countries around the world, is a signatory to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction – otherwise known as the “Hague Convention”.
This means that the Australian Government has signed a treaty with certain other countries to confirm that – in the event that a child is wrongfully taken overseas to another Hague Convention country, or wrongfully overheld in another country (where a parent or caregiver has refused to return the child to Australia) – the governments of the countries involved will co-operate to ensure the child is returned to Australia without the need for costly Court proceedings – wherever possible.
As always, it is better for this situation not to arise at all, and so you may wish to take steps to avoid a child going overseas without your consent at all (see our article or Airport Watch List Orders).
However in the unfortunate event that your child is wrongly taken overseas without your consent, or is wrongly overheld in a foreign country without your consent, the Family Law Team at Sanicki Lawyers can help you, by advising you, and representing you, in a Hague Convention Application.
If you need urgent legal advice regarding whether a Hague Convention Application is available to you, please don’t hesitate to contact Stephanie Hope, Senior Associate and Head of Family Law at Sanicki Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 03 9510 9888 for an urgent and confidential advice session.