Having the opportunity to take your children overseas is a great experience. It allows the children and yourself the chance to experience new cultures and grow the family’s relationship. As a single parent or blended family there are some important information you must consider if you share custody of the children.

Before anyone can go overseas a passport is required for every member of the family. For the children, this requires the signature of each child who has parental responsibility. If the other party refuses to sign the passport application, special circumstance may be granted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Once a passport is obtained it is important that you receive written consent from either the court or from someone on the court order.

If there are parenting orders in place you must have written consent form the other parental guardian. It is important to understand that although the other guardian may have signed the passport application, they may not consent to where or when you are planning the trip.

Without express written consent, it can be considered a criminal offence under the Family Law Act. In order to have a successful holiday it is important that you understand this to avoid being stopped at the border and potential criminal consequences.

Separation for a family is difficult and sometimes one parent may wish to move overseas permanently and take the children with them. If you fear that your ex may wish to permanently stay overseas instead of just taking a holiday, there are steps you can take to prevent this.

If you have such a concern contact our Family Law Team on 02 – 4902 3888 or office@burkemeadlawyers.com.au for more information.