I’m separated, in the Family Court and want to travel overseas with my children –can I?

Now that our borders have re-opened after the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, overseas travel is now an exciting possibility for us. However, what happens if you are currently in Court with your ex-partner in relation to parenting issues and you or the other parent want to travel overseas with the kids?



If you’re in the Family Courts (Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia – FCFCOA) you need to know that the concept of a parent travelling outside the Court’s jurisdiction (Australia) is taken very seriously by the Court. Unfortunately, parties to proceedings are not free agents to do whatever they would like. Each parent is accountable to the other and to the Court.

Imprisonment for up to 3 years

Under the Family Law Act 1975 (the Act) it is an offence for a parent to take and keep the children outside the Commonwealth of Australia if there is a parenting order already in place or if there is an application seeking parenting orders on foot. Therefore, a parent may unwittingly commit a Commonwealth offence if they travel overseas and take their children with them. The penalty for

 this offence can be imprisonment for up to 3 years.

You need a specific Court order to travel

In short, if you are currently litigating, or the other parent has started Court proceedings, overseas travel is illegal without a specific Court order permitting you to travel with the kids. Therefore, if you or your ex-partner are considering overseas travel with the children, it is best if you can agree to this and then obtain Consent Orders which are approved by the Court permitting overseas travel with the children.  At Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers we can assist you by ensuring any orders include the specific provisions which enable you and your children to travel safely overseas and ensure that your proposed travel is legal so that you do not unwittingly commit an offer pursuant to the Act.

Negotiate or Court to Be Allowed to Travel

If you need help to negotiate permission to travel overseas travel with your children or if you are already in Court but want a fresh approach, contact Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers to get tailor made advice which best suits your situation.



Jordyn Bethune, Lawyer, and Caroline Counsel, Principal

Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers:

E: [email protected]

P: +61 3 9320 3900


The information in this blog does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by you. If you require advice specific to your situation you must contact Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers. The contents of this blog are relevant as of 6 April 2022. We recommend you obtain specific advice relevant to you and your family’s situation.


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