I want to take the children on holiday, but my former partner doesn’t agree
If you have parenting orders in place for your children, or an application for parenting orders is currently going through the Family Court, the children cannot travel overseas (even for a short holiday) without permission from the court or the agreement of the other parties.
You may also have temporary or final parenting orders that say the children cannot be taken outside of the state, even for a holiday.
You should try to reach an agreement but if you can’t, you will need to apply to the Family Court for orders saying you can take the children on holiday.
How can I get passports for my children?
Children cannot travel on a parent's Australian passport. Each child, including infants, must be issued with their own passport if they want to travel overseas.
Children under 18 cannot apply for their own Australian passport; the applications must be made by a parent or someone with parental responsibility for the children. All people with parental responsibility for a child (normally both parents) must consent and sign the application form.
Where possible, you need to contact the other parent and ask for their consent to have a child passport issued. In limited cases, you might be able to ask the Australian Passport Office to consider your application without the other parent's consent. This is usually where there are family violence restraining orders in place, child protection orders in place, or where you have used all reasonable efforts but cannot contact the other parent.
If a child is in the care of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support, the CEO of the Department can consent to a child passport being issued.
If the other parent unreasonably refuses to sign the children’s passport applications, you can apply to the Family Court for orders that passports can be issued without their consent. The requirements to participate in Family Dispute Resolution apply to these applications. The Court will only grant orders for the children to be issued passports and travel if it is found to be in their best interests.
If you take the children on a holiday without telling the other parent, they might apply to the court for an injunction stopping the children from travelling, or for a recovery order to have them brought back home. There can also be other consequences if you have breached parenting orders.
Applying to the court
When applying for child passports or permission for a child to travel internationally, your application must say what orders you are asking the Court to make. You will also need an affidavit explaining all the facts that are relevant in your case, including:
- the details and purpose of the proposed travel, including a copy of the itinerary (if you have one)
- what links the people travelling have to Australia
- whether the country being visited is a member of the Hague Convention, or if any travel warnings have been issued
- the immigration status of the people travelling
- whether you are willing and able to pay a bond as security to bring the children back after the holiday
- whether you are willing to provide an undertaking to the Court to pay any damages another party suffers as a result of the order being made, and
- any other information relevant to the case.