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5 Dec 2017

What’s wrong with taking your children on a quick Bali holiday in the summer holiday break?

The children have lived with you since separation and save for your ex filing for parenting orders in the Family Court recently, he hasn’t had any involvement with the children’s travel plans for years. Alternatively, you and your ex are currently in the middle of Family Court proceedings and you just want to take the children for a short break.

So you innocently just jump online to book a short getaway to Bali in the holidays to relax in the sunshine with the children…all sounds pretty harmless right?

Wrong.

As there are Family Court proceedings in progress regarding the care arrangements for your children, your Bali getaway is a breach of section 65Z of the Family Law Act 1975 (or section 108 of the Family Court Act 1997) which has a penalty of up to 3 years imprisonment!

When you are planning holidays with your children it is vital to keep in mind that pursuant to section 65Y of the Family Law Act 1975 and section 107 of the Family Court Act 1997 parties to proceedings must not take or send the child or children who are the subject of proceedings outside of Australia unless it is done:

  • With the written consent of the other party/parties to the proceedings; or
  • In accordance with a Family Court Order.

Therefore if you cannot obtain the written consent of the other party, an application should be filed to obtain endorsement of the Family Court through Orders.

Before you even consider trying to travel without consent or a Family Court Order, consider the case of Sullivan v Tyler and Anor, (2016) where the Mother choosing to ignore Court orders prohibiting her from taking her child overseas resulted in her being placed on the Federal Police Airport Watch List, a warrant being immediately issued for her arrest and the child being returned to the Father’s care in Australia.

Do not leave making this application until the last minute as you need to factor in the time it will take for the Family Court to list your application for hearing. This is not a simple little procedure which you can attend to in between packing your bathers and your sundress; it is a process which can take weeks or months.