Overseas holidays

This webpage has information about travelling on an overseas holiday with your child after separation, including information about passports.

If there is a current Family Court case about your child, or there are Family Court orders in place for your child, it is against the law to take or send your child overseas unless everyone agrees in writing, or your court orders allow this, or you get permission from the Family Court. 

Quick Answers video: Overseas holidays with children
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A child will generally need a passport to travel overseas. In most cases, both parents must agree and sign a passport application to get an Australian passport for a child. All people with parental responsibility for a child need to give their permission.

If a parent cannot get the other parent's consent (or another person who has parental responsibility for the child) they will usually need to apply to the Family Court for orders to allow overseas travel and permission for the child to have an Australian Passport. It is recommended that you obtain legal advice before starting a case in the Family Court. 

The Minister can grant a passport for a child without permission from a person with parental responsibility, in some limited situations. 

Different countries have different rules about passports. If your child may be able to get a foreign passport, contact the foreign embassy or consulate to get more information. 

What do I need to do if I have court orders?

If there are court orders permitting your child to go on an overseas holiday, you will usually have to follow some conditions. For example, you may need to give your ex-partner (or someone else named on the order):

  • information about the overseas holiday,
  • return flight details, and
  • contact details of where the child will be staying. 

It is important that you check what the court orders say about overseas travel and get legal advice if you are unsure about what you need to do. 

What do I need to do if I don't have court orders?

You should try to reach an agreement with your ex-partner about the proposed overseas holidays. This could be done by writing to your ex-partner (for example, by text or email) and sending them the details of your proposed overseas holiday. 

You may travel overseas with your child if you do not have Family Court orders in place for your child or a current Family Court case. However, you must bring your child back to Australia. If your child is not returned, your ex-partner (or another carer) may start a court case for your child's return. 

More information

Legal Aid WA
Australian Passport Office
Family Court of WA


Reviewed 31 January 2024


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.