4 Common Questions Divorced Parents Ask About Taking Their Children On Holiday

Following a divorce, any parent will hope that as the dust settles they will be able to carry on with some normal parenting activities. That applies to both the parent the children usually live with and the parent who has visitation rights. What those parental activities might be is hugely diverse, ranging from playing in the park to taking them on holiday.

Taking one’s children on holiday, even if you are a divorced parent, might not seem like something that would be especially difficult, but unfortunately, there are some circumstances that pitfalls can occur. This is borne out of the fact that many divorced parents do not fully understand family law relating to taking children overseas, or even to another state within Australia.

Complications can exist relating to taking children on holiday which is why the advice of a family lawyer may often be sought. Four of the common questions they are often asked includes those we have outlined below, and as best we can we have answered them.

Do I Require My Ex’s Permission To Take Our Children On An Overseas Holiday?

As annoying as it may seem to some divorced parents, you cannot simply book a holiday overseas for you and your children and jet off. You need to either get written permission from the children’s other parent or apply to the Family Court for an Order, which authorises you to take them out of the country. If you do neither, and take your children overseas without permission or authorisation, you can be imprisoned for up to 3 years under Family Law Act.

Do I Need My Children’s Other Parent’s Permission To Travel To Another Australian State?

Why go overseas when there are so many great places to visit in Australia? Better still, it is easier if you are a divorced parent because, unlike overseas travel, you do not need permission to travel with your children to any other state in Australia, unless there is an existing court order that prevents you. It is also advisable, and courteous to inform the children’s other parent where you are travailing to,  just as you would want to know if the roles were reversed.

My Children Have A Different Surname To Mine, Can I Take Them Overseas?

There is no legal reason that would stop you, so the answer is “Yes, you can” but there can be issues travelling overseas with children if you have different surnames. This is especially so with immigration staff who will be mindful of potential child trafficking. The best advice is to take all documentation with you that proves you are the children’s parent including birth certificates and parenting orders from the Family Court that name you as the children’s parent.

Can I Prevent My Ex Taking Our Children Overseas?

If you have a genuine reason to suspect they plan not to return, for example, you do have options. One is to seek a Child Alert which would prevent a passport for the children from being issued. You can also ask that your children be placed on the Federal Police Family Law Watch List, also known as the Airport Watch List. However, if your reason to try to stop them is to maintain the feud with your ex then it is you who could be in trouble if you seek restrictions without just cause.