If your ex has asked to take your children to travel overseas with them, you may be worried or questioning, “Should I let my children travel overseas with my ex?”. On the one hand overseas travel can be an amazing opportunity for children to spend time with your former partner and learn about the world. However, it can be a scary and uncertain thing for the parent who isn’t travelling with the children. When considering a request from your ex to take your children travelling overseas, you obviously need to consider if it is safe for your children to travel. One of the biggest concerns people express is that the other parent will not return the children to Australia.
When weighing things up, you should consider the following:
- Is your former partner a citizen, or are your children citizens of another country?
- Does your former partner have family in another country that they are close with?
- Has your former partner ever lived overseas, or expressed a desire to move overseas with the children?
- Is your former partner proposing to travel with the children to a country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention?
- Do you have current Family Law Orders in place?
What is the Hague Convention?
Formally called ‘The Hague Convention of the Civil Aspects of Internal Child Abduction’, the Hague Convention is an international treaty that provides avenues for child recovery when a person takes children overseas without permission or does not return to the home country as promised.
Countries that have agreed to be a part of the Convention are called ‘signatories’.
Australia is a signatory to the Hague Convention, and so when children travel to other signatory countries, the Hague Convention applies. However, if children travel to other countries that are not signatories to the Hague Convention, then the treaty does not apply and the avenues it provides are not available if the children are not returned. For the full list of countries practicing the Hague Convention click here.
What are Family Law Orders?
Family Law Orders are orders that have been made under the Family Law Act. They provide orders about things like who children live with after separation takes place. Family Law Orders can also provide conditions of overseas travel.
If there are Family Law Orders in place, both parties are bound to comply with the orders. Failure to comply allows the other party to make an application to the court to enforce the orders under certain circumstances.