How to Stop a Recovery Order? A Guide From a Family Law Expert

When a child is taken from a parent or guardian without their consent, that parent or guardian can apply for a recovery order to get the missing child back. However, what happens if you want to stop a recovery order that has already been issued?

To stop a recovery order, the first step is to speak with an experienced family lawyer who can guide you through the process and help you understand your legal rights and obligations. You will need to provide them with all the relevant information about the case, including:

  • any court orders that have been issued
  • the circumstances surrounding the child’s removal from the other parent or guardian
  • any potential risks to the child’s safety and wellbeing (such as family violence)

Once you have sought legal advice, you will need to file an application with the court to stop the child recovery orders, including an affidavit that sets out the reasons why the order should be stopped. The Court will then consider your application and decide whether or not to grant it. It is important to note that this is a complex legal process and it is essential to seek legal assistance to ensure the best possible outcome.

Divorce lawyers and financial advisors play a crucial role in navigating these complex situations, helping couples find the best solutions for their individual circumstances. Several factors, including the type of business, individual contributions, and the location of the divorce, can influence the outcome of the division of business assets. It is vital for both spouses to seek professional guidance to ensure the process is fair and transparent.


Quick Recap: What is a Recovery Order?

A recovery order is a legal order that is made by the Family Court of Australia in accordance with the Family Law Act (1975). It authorises or directs a person or persons, such as police officers, to take appropriate action to find a child’s location, recover the child, and deliver them to their rightful parent ore guardian.

A recovery order may be made when:

  • a child has been taken or is being held by a person who is not their legal guardian
  • when a parent or guardian is in breach of a parenting order
  • it may also be made in cases of international child abduction

It is important to note that recovery orders are not always the first option in cases of child custody disputes. However, in some cases, a recovery order may be necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child.

Who Can Apply for a Recovery Order?

Under NSW law in Australia, only certain people are eligible to apply for a recovery order. These include:

Parents of the child can apply for a Recovery Order. This includes biological parents, adoptive parents, and step-parents who have parental responsibility for the child.


Grandparents can also apply for a Recovery Order if they have a pre-existing parenting order in place. This means that they have previously been granted legal rights and responsibilities for the child.

Other Persons

Other persons who may be eligible to apply for a Recovery Order include:

  • A person who has a parenting order in place that the child lives with, spends time with, or communicates with.
  • A person who has parental responsibility for the child.
  • A person who is concerned with the care, welfare, and development of the child.

What Happens After a Recovery Order is Made?

Once a recovery order is made, the person who has the child is required to return them to the person who applied for the order. If they fail to do so, they can be charged with a criminal offence, which is why anyone wanting to stop an order should get legal advice as soon as possible.

What if the Child has been Taken from Australia?

If a child has been taken from Australia without the consent of all parties with parental responsibility, a recovery order can be made requiring the child’s return. The Australian Federal Police can also assist in locating and returning the child.

How to Stop a Recovery Order?

If someone is facing a recovery order, they may be wondering how to stop it. The best course of action, if possible, is to negotiate with the other parent or guardian to avoid a recovery order. This can involve discussing the situation with them and coming to an agreement that is in the best interests of the child. If an agreement is reached, it is essential to document it in writing and seek legal advice before taking any further action.

If a recovery order has been issued, it is essential to act quickly and take the necessary steps to stop it.

The first step to stop a recovery order is to speak with an experienced family lawyer who can help you understand your options and determine the best course of action.

Depending on the advice from your legal representation, the next step may be to file an application to set aside the recovery order. This application can be made if there has been a material change in circumstances since the recovery order was made, or if there was a mistake or error in the original order. It is essential to act quickly, as there are strict time limits for making this application.

If someone believes that the recovery order was made in error, that the order was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation, or is not in the best interests of the child, they can seek a review of the order. This can be done by filing an appeal with the Family Court of Australia. As part of the appeal, you may be required to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • There was an urgent requirement for you to move to your new location
  • You and the other parent/guardian have agreed on you moving to your new location
  • There are risks of family violence or harm involved to either yourself or the children

Overall, stopping a recovery order can be a difficult and complex process. It is essential to seek legal advice and act quickly to ensure the best possible outcome for the child and all parties involved.

How To Respond To a Recovery Order

If you are unable to stop a child recovery order, it is important to respond promptly and appropriately. Here are some steps to take:

It is important to seek independent legal advice as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and obligations, and can advise you on the best course of action to take. They can also help you prepare a response to the recovery order.

Filing a Response to an Order

If you wish to challenge a recovery order, you will need to file a response with the court. The response should set out your reasons for opposing the order, and should include any evidence or documentation that supports your case. You will need to file the response within a specified time frame, which will be set out in the recovery order.

How Long Do You Have to Respond to a Child Recovery Order?

The time frame for responding to a child recovery order will vary depending on the circumstances of the case. In general, you will have a limited amount of time to respond, so it is important to act quickly. Your lawyer can advise you on the specific time frame that applies in your case.

Need Help with a Recovery Order? Seek Legal Advice from a Family Law Expert Like Burke Mead Lawyers

Dealing with a recovery order can be a stressful and complicated process, but it is manageable with the right help – such as the advice of an experienced family law firm.

The team at Burke Mead Lawyers are experts in family law, including parenting arrangements and recovery orders.  Our experts can assist you throughout this process to protect your legal rights and responsibilities – contact Burke Mead Lawyers today.

About the Author
Ebony Purcell

Ebony Purcell is an Associate in the Family Law Team at Burke Mead Lawyers. Ebony’s experience as a solicitor exclusively in family law spans more than 10 years advocating for her clients. She also regularly appears for clients in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia both locally and throughout the country.