In 2012, many Australians watched a news story about the dramatic separation of the four Vincenti sisters from their Australian mother. There was public outcry and distress as the girls were returned to live with their father in Italy. A recent update story has shared the thoughts of two of the sisters three years later, and their feelings on how this period of their lives played out in public.

Family separation is never easy, but when the parents want to live in different countries, there are certain rules that need to be followed. These are the family law facts that you need to know.

Can You Take Your Child To Live Overseas Without Both Parents Consenting?

There is no specific current law that says that you cannot take your child overseas to live without the consent of the other parent. However, there are ways that the other parent can stop you from taking the child away if they suspect you are intending to do so.

How Can A Parent Stop A Child From Leaving Australia Without Consent?

There are three ways in which a parent can make sure that their child does not leave the country without their consent. They are:

  1. Lodging an alert with the Australian Passport Office stating that they do not consent to a passport being issued to the child.
  2. If a passport has previously been issued, they can apply to the Court for orders which state the passport must be delivered to the Court until a permanent relocation decision has been made.
  3. They can apply to the Court for orders which will put the child's name on a watchlist that is under the control of the Australian Federal Police. This will raise an alert if the child tries to leave the country.

If you do remove the child from Australia before these steps are taken, the other parent can apply to the Court for a recovery order. If granted, this states you must return the children to Australia or face legal action.

How Can You Take Your Child Overseas To Live?

If you wish to live outside Australia with your child, you must obtain the written consent of the other parent. If they refuse to provide consent, then you will need to apply to the Courts for a relocation order that allows you to move. If the Court does not feel it is in the best interests of the child, this order will not be granted and the child will need to remain living in Australia.

Child relocation can be a complicated matter if both parents do not agree on where the child will live, and you will need the assistance of an experienced family lawyer such as Freedom Family Law to resolve this issue. This matter is one that carries high emotions, so make sure that you do things properly so that your children never become a news story like the one about the Vincenti sisters.