Navigating the complexities of international child custody becomes particularly challenging for separated parents within the context of Lebanese-Australian families. While the allure of travelling to Lebanon with children is often an enriching cultural experience for many Lebanese-Australians, it poses a dilemma for those grappling with the aftermath of a broken relationship. The article by New South Lawyers' Family Lawyers delves into the intricate issues faced by separated parents contemplating or dealing with the return of their children from Lebanon.

Travelling to and from Lebanon during Christmas 

Travelling to Lebanon with children during festive periods and holidays is not an uncommon practice for many parents from Lebanese-Australian background. In fact, many Lebanese-Australians find travelling to Lebanon with their children to be an exciting, fulfilling and enjoyable cultural experience for the whole family.

The dilemma for separated parents 

For separated families, travelling to Lebanon can be an issue especially if there is a history of threats of abduction or control. Whether one or both parents identify as Lebanese or Australian-Lebanese, discussions on travel with the children to Lebanon may cause anxiety, uncertainty, and apprehension, following the breakdown of a relationship or marriage.

Can my children be returned to Australia from Lebanon?  

Whether making a decision for children to travel to Australia or seeking the return of your children from Lebanon, it is important to consider the following information which we have compiled and summarised below:

  1. Lebanon is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
  2. There are no extradition treaties between Lebanon and Australia. The Australian government may not be able to intervene.
  3. It is quite difficult to return a child to Australia, who is being retained by a Lebanese parent in Lebanon.
  4. Lebanon does not recognise dual nationality and may consider anyone carrying documents confirming their Lebanese nationality, to be Lebanese.
  5. In most countries including Lebanon, a spouse may prevent their children,   even if the children are of another nationality, from leaving Lebanon.
  6. Lebanon does not consider it a crime for a parent to retain their child and do not recognise abduction of a child by a parent.
  7. The Court system in Lebanon can be complicated and long winding.
  8. Australia and Lebanon have a bilateral agreement to provide assistance to parents of both countries involved in international child dispute or abduction.  

Please consult an experienced lawyer for advice on your specific family law matter. While New South Lawyers are not experts in Lebanese laws and practices, our Family Law Team have experience in Australian Family Law.

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

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