As we gear up for the long holidays and Christmas, many of us are considering taking the children overseas for family visits, reunions, skiing or a white Christmas. For separated parents this can be a little complicated as the consent of the other parent is usually required. We have put together five simple tips on how to prepare for overseas holiday travel with children if you are a  separated parent.


As a separated parent, you are obliged to obtain permission and agreement from the other parent prior to traveling with your children out of Australia, unless there are existing Court Orders granting you permission to travel overseas with the children, without first obtaining the other parent’s permission or consent.

Planning & Preparation

Prior planning and preparation can make the experience drama free and reassuring for the children and both parents. A sudden request to travel may raise unwarranted suspicions from the non-travelling parent leading to resistance from them. Meanwhile, if you prepare in advance and provide, at the time of your request, all necessary information including the children’s itinerary, accommodation arrangements and contact details when overseas, to the non-travelling parent, they will be less inclined to withhold consent and in the event that they withhold consent, forcing you to make an application for orders to travel with the children, the Court is more likely to find their refusal to give consent to be unreasonable. This may increase your chances of the Court approving your application for travel with the children.


Please remember that apart from you and the children’s passports, vaccination cards and visa documents if required, evidence of the other parent’s consent in the form of a verifiable text message or signed paper document or email and if no consent, then the Court Order permitting the travel, is also an important and essential paperwork to have with you while traveling overseas with the children. This is to prepare against and avoid any embarrassing or traumatic experience for the children and yourself, in the event that the other parent alerts the Australian Federal Police following claims of a potential abduction of the children.

Provide updates

It is natural for parents to worry about their children when they are not in their care and especially if the children are overseas and regardless of whether they are with their other parent. Providing updates to the non-traveling parent may put them at ease and build the trust for future travels. Voluntarily provide updates on missed flights, updates with itinerary and change of plans involving the children.


Traveling with a child without the consent of the Court or the other parent may lead to allegations of child abduction with serious consequences. It is more desirable to act with prudence than make a reckless decision.If you believe your situation is very complicated or your relationship with the other parent is volatile and best described as a high-conflict relationship, then speak to an experienced family lawyer as soon as practicable for assistance or advice for any overseas trip by you or the other parent involving the children. Also consult with a family lawyer with respect to sole responsibility for travel and passports in any Court application or agreement.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication.

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