Going through a divorce can be an emotionally draining process for you and your partner. However, legal separation often takes a more mental toll on your children. Children are left in a state of emotional turmoil, resulting in feeling overwhelmed. While most parents decide on sole or joint custody, there are cases of a parent forcefully restricting a child to meet the other parent.
According to research by Child Recovery Australia, more than 250 children are abducted in or out of Australia by a parent every year.
Note: Parental child abduction is a serious matter which requires the assistance of officials and top family lawyers in Sydney. If you fear the safety of your child or sense they have been abducted, please call the officials on 000.
If you need more information relating to parental child abduction and surrounding family law in Australia, our best family lawyers in Sydney can assist you with that. Here is some basic information on parental child abduction.
1. What Is Parental Child Abduction?
Parental child abduction occurs when one parent or guardian takes, detains, or conceals a child to meet the other parent or guardian without seeking consent or permission from the court. Such abduction usually happens in circumstances of legal separation. However, parental child abduction is not exclusive to legal separation. It may occur within the country or overseas.
2. What is International Parental Child Abduction?
International parental child abduction (IPCA) happens when a parent – who is originally from another country – abducts a child and takes them overseas without the consent of another parent or seeking the authorisation of the court. In the case of IPCA, the recovery of a child is subjected to international laws surrounding child abduction. However, under the Australian Family Law Act, any parent who abducts their child from Australia will have to serve three years imprisonment. The family law court can also suspend child support (if any) from the abductor parent.
3. How Do I Recover My Child in Australia?
According to the parenting order, a child has the right to spend time or communicate with the other parent, grandparents or any guardian who cares for their safety and welfare. However, if your separated parent has abducted your child, you can apply for a recovery order.
As defined in 67Q of the Family Law Act 1975, a recovery order authorises or directs a person such as police officials to find and arrest – without a warrant – a person who abducted a child without other parent’s concern and return them to the designated guardian.
A recovery order will forbid the person from keeping or detaining again to prevent the chance of parental child abduction again.
4. How Do I Apply For a Recovery Order?
A recovery order application should be filed in the Federal Circuit Court. However, individuals going through parenting cases in the Family Court can consider applying to that court. If you don’t have a current parenting order in place, we advise you to apply for one along with a recovery order.
5. How Do I Recover My Child From Overseas?
If you suspect the other parent has taken your child and left overseas, reach out to your local police ‘000’ immediately. Ensure you call the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to add your child’s name to the Family Law Watchlist. If your former partner is trying to leave or has not left the country, AFP may be able to stop them immediately. Also, speak with an expert family lawyer in Parramatta who can guide and assist you with further legal processes.
If you are concerned about the safety of your child, seek urgent legal advice from law experts. Our family lawyers in Sydney have the extensive legal knowledge and 20+ years of experience dealing with family law cases. You can call us on (02) 9135 6000 for more information on parental child abduction. Book a FREE consultation today.