Family Law Library

The other parent has taken the children and is refusing to return them. What should I do?

If you have an order that the children live with you or spend time with you and the children have been taken or not returned, you need to apply to the Court for a recovery order. This order allows the police (both state and federal) to find and return your children to you.

If you do not have an order that the children live with or spend time with you, you need to apply to the Court for such an order, as well as a recovery order. This can be done simultaneously.

Sometimes, in an emergency, the Court may give these orders ex parte, that is, without the other parent being at court. If you are worried that the children might be taken out of Australia you should put the children’s names on the Airport Watch List. You will need to apply to the Court to place the children on the Watch List and send a copy of the application and any court orders made to the Federal Police.