Most separated couples have no problem taking their children on an overseas holiday. However, we understand that you may have reservations about allowing your children to travel with your former partner. Whether it is general separation anxiety or genuine concerns about potential abduction, our Family Lawyers are often curiously asked: "Can my ex take my child overseas?" Legal issues can arise as many parents do not realise that they actually need formal written consent or a Family Law Order to allow an overseas trip.

How can I go about taking my children on an overseas holiday?

If you are planning an overseas trip with your children, you should advise your former spouse of your plans as soon as possible. When communicating your intentions, it is important to provide a full itinerary of the trip which includes the following details.  Firstly. where you want to go, the countries and any cities you intend to travel to. Secondly, when you want to go. Thirdly, means of communicating when overseas. Fourthly, where you will be staying and any relevant contact details of hotels. Fifthly, flight numbers and other relevant information.  Finally, potential plan if your former spouse would like to make the time back up.  Once this itinerary is provided to your former spouse it is imperative that they agree to it.

What if they don't agree?

If your spouse does not agree, you can apply to the Court for an Order which permits your travel. In this application, the Court will consider the following:  Firstly, the background of the parents. Secondly, the relationship between the parents. Thirdly, the length of the trip. Fourthly, the age of the children. Fifthly, the proposed country of the trip. And finally, the risk that the children may not return.  If the Court determines that there may be a risk that the children will not return it is unlikely they will grant an Order permitting the trip.

Can a court still permit a trip?

Please note however, if your former spouse unreasonably denies an overseas trip, then the Court is likely to permit the trip. This works in the other way too, you should not unreasonably deny the opportunity for travel if your former spouse would like to take your children on an overseas holiday. If there is a risk of child abduction, you should urgently seek legal advice.  We highly recommend seeking legal advice from our Family Lawyers if you would like to go on an overseas holiday with your children or are concerned about your children being abducted overseas. To discuss your Family Law matter and find the best option for you, please contact our Sydney Family Law team on 02 9891 6388.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. To that end, they should not be relied upon as legal advice. Accordingly, formal legal advice should be sought on matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Family Law Team today.