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    Can I take my children overseas if I'm separated?

    1/06/19 3:08 PM

    As winter rolls around we are tempted to travel overseas to warmer climates. However, if you are separated and want to take your children this may not be possible.

    If you have had a relationship breakdown, you may have entered into parenting orders. These orders will usually set out a parent’s responsibilities when it comes to travelling overseas with the children. If you do not have orders you must obtain the other parent’s permission before travelling overseas with the children.


    To travel overseas, you need a passport. Unless otherwise stated, you will need both parents’ consent to have a passport issued for your child. Your orders will detail if only one parent is required to permit a passport to be issued. Your orders will also probably detail which parent will hold the passports for safekeeping and the process by which the other parent should obtain the passport for overseas travel with the children. If there are no orders in place you may face difficulties in obtaining your partner’s signature and consent in relation to the passports.


    If the orders deal with international travel, they will detail the protocol for obtaining permission from the non-travelling parent for the children to travel overseas. This can include two weeks written notice coupled with a copy of the return ticket. The travelling parent may also need to make arrangements for the children to spend time with the non-travelling parent if the time overseas overlaps with their allotted time as carer for the children. You must obtain the other parent’s permission if you intend to travel overseas with the children if you do not have orders stating otherwise.

    If you travel overseas with your child without permission from the other parent whilst having proceedings in Court, you could be committing a criminal offence of international child abduction.

    As a rule of thumb, obtain the other parent’s consent in writing and provide them a copy of the itinerary along with a copy of the return tickets.


    You are not allowed to take your children overseas if the other parent does not consent.

    If you have further questions please contact Andrea Harrold at 

    This is not legal advice. 

    Photo by Steven Coffey on Unsplash

    Andrea Harrold

    Written by Andrea Harrold