While it seems parental kidnappings belong more in a Hollywood
movie, working to recover internationally abducted children is very
much a family lawyer's reality here at Pentana Stanton
International Child Abduction occurs when a parent (or guardian)
takes a child from their residence in Australia to another country,
which is usually in breach of parental custodial orders. This often
results in the Australian Federal Police becoming involved as
Where it can also become problematic is when attempting to
retrieve your child back from the new country due to passport
related issues, especially if one of the parents does not consent
to signing passport or visa applications.
To combat international child abduction and to help lawfully
bring abducted children home, there is an International Agreement
called 'The Hague Convention' and almost
all Countries are signatories to this Agreement. However,
there are some notable Countries that are not
bound by the Hague Convention, and this includes: Cambodia, China,
Cuba, Pakistan, Thailand and others, so if your child has been
taken to one of these countries, the Court may order their
If your child has been taken out of the country –
what should you do?
Contact your local police if you are concerned about your
child's welfare and safety.
Contact the Australian Federal Police regarding registering
your child's name on the Family Law Watchlist. This list may
help prevent your child from being removed from Australia if this
has not occurred already.
Urgently seek legal advice – you will need a Court Order
to place your child on the Family Law Watchlist or to obtain
Recovery Orders for your child. Pentana Stanton is experienced in
this area of law.
If your child has been taken to a Hague Convention Country,
contact the Australia Central Authority who may be able to assist
If your child has been taken to a non-Hague Convention Country,
you may be able to get assistance from the Australian Consular
Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This service
operates 24 hours a day.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Sect.117 can deal with false statements and knowingly making false allegations of violence could justify a costs order.
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