International Travel in a Separated Family

International travel can be a source of stress for separated families if one party does not consent to the trip.

Even if your separation is amicable it is important you are prepared as a single parent travelling with your child.

Getting a passport

If your child does not currently have a passport both parents will need to sign the passport application.

The non-travelling parent may refuse to sign the documents. When an agreement cannot be reached you will likely require advice on making a Family Court application.

The Court has the power either to require the non-consenting parent to sign the application, or to rule their signature is not necessary.

Difficulties with consent

Passport applications and travel plans can be disrupted by the non-travelling parent for several reasons:

  • Concerns for the child’s safety in the foreign country
  • The length of international travel
  • Genuineness of plans to return to Australia
  • Whether the child will be affected by the absence of the non-travelling parent

This is especially common in separated families where the split was not amicable. The Family Court will use tests to ensure your travel plans are genuine and you show sufficient ties to Australia to not be considered a flight risk.

Sometimes a bond, either monetary or as security over an asset, is deemed necessary to ensure travel conditions are met.

In all cases the child’s best interests, especially their welfare while overseas, is the main concern.

Making a Family Court application

Single parents planning international travel with their child should plan well in advance to avoid disappointment from cancellations or delays.

Alternatively, both parties can agree on provisions for overseas travel that stipulate mutually acceptable conditions for travel.

Our Family Lawyers can help parents from a separated family make international travel plans or gain consent in event of a dispute.