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Under section 67Q of the Family Law Act 1975 the Court has the means to authorise the recovery of a child who is taken or retained overseas. There are various ways in which a recovery can be commenced. The child custody laws  method is determined by the particular individual circumstance.

Circumstances may include:
  • One parent through agreement with the other parent takes the children on holidays, but then continues to reside in the new location without returning the children, or
  • One parent through agreement with the other parents take the children on holidays but extends the period of leave beyond what was agreed upon, or
  • When a parent does not gain the consent or knowledge of the other parent and removes the children
  • The circumstances can also include a grandparent, step parent, relative or carer that takes the children with or without consent.
What is a Recovery Order?

The court gives regard to section 67V, where the paramount consideration of a Recovery Order is the best interests of the relevant child or children. As such, the court will make an order that it finds proper in the circumstances that go to the best interests of the children. This may mean that the Court authorises a relevant authority, such as the Australian Federal Police, to locate and return a child to their primary caregiver, or individual that is in the child’s best interest.

How do I obtain a Recovery Order?

It is strongly advised that in seeking recovery of your child or children, that you access child custody laws  advice from a family lawyer. Every recovery situation is different, legal advice may ensure a better understanding of the application procedure involved and prevent costly delays that may hinder the process of retrieving your child.

Following a Recover Order

Depending on the avenue of recovery taken, a recovery order can be mentioned before the court. This is where the court determines whether to enact the order for recovery or not. Given the specific information and process required to ensure a successful recovery order is made, it is advisable that you seek child custody laws advice as to your child custody rights.

For legal advice in relation to child custody laws,  contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at

You may also click to visit our Parenting and Custody Custody Laws information page.

Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.