Marino Law | Gold Coast Law Firm

When Plans Change

www.news.com.au reports today on the Australian Story program airing tonight featuring Gold Coaster Sally Faulkner talking about her widely publicised failed attempt to retrieve her children from Lebanon with the assistance of Channel 9’s 60 Minutes program.

The events of earlier this year and we are sure the contents of tonight’s program will highlight the issue of international travel with children after separation.

Our family law Courts are often called upon to determine whether a parent has permission to travel overseas with a child or children after separation.  Sometimes these issues are part of a broader range of parenting matters including long term living arrangements for children and sometimes they are discrete issues between parents who otherwise have a good post separation co-parenting arrangement.

In most circumstances the family law Courts consider the opportunity for overseas travel to be in a child’s best interests.  The Courts are often heard saying that it gives children opportunities for personal and educational growth and enables them to experience that there is more to life than what they find in their backyard.  However balanced with this is the need to ensure that children are safe and that they are returned to their place of ‘habitual residence’.

To safeguard the return of children, the Court will often only consider permitting travel to a country which is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  This is because countries which are parties to the Convention will participate with one another to see the return of children if they are withheld elsewhere than Australia.

Irrespective of whether or not Sally was considered to be in the right taking the steps that she did to try to retrieve her children, it is hard not to have some sympathy for the situation that she found herself in.  Arguably she ought to have said no to the travel because of the proposed location but then arguably when she believed she had a good co-parenting relationship with the Father, there may have been little risk in her eyes.

It is important that you obtain expert legal advice in relation to matters such as international travel with children such that you are fully appraised of the processes and procedures involved if you wish to travel with a child or wish to have a child returned from an overseas country.  Our expert Family Lawyers at Marino Law have vast experience in relation to such issues.  Call us today to make an appointment to discuss matters such as overseas travel or any aspect of Family Law.

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