If you are thinking, ‘can I stop my ex taking my child abroad?” then the answer is yes, you can.
You should look at adding the children’s names to the Family Law Watchlist.
If your children already have a passport, this is the only way to be sure of stopping them from travelling overseas.
The Family Law Watchlist is managed by the Australian Federal Police, however, a child is rarely added to the list without a valid court order.
You must apply to the court for a Passenger Analysis Clear and Evaluation (PACE) System Alert for your child to be included on the Watchlist.
In your court application, you can request an absolute prohibition on travel or a conditional prohibition on travel.
For example, one condition might that if both parents agree, the child can go overseas.
You can also request to limit the child’s travel to certain countries, such as those with which Australia has an agreement under the Hague Convention.
If you believe your child’s removal from the country is imminent, you can file your court application as an urgent matter so that the child is placed on the PACE system.
When the court grants an order that prevents or limits your child’s travel, you may then file a Family Law Watchlist request form with the Australian Federal Police.
Once their name is on the family law watchlist, the Australian Federal Police can stop your child from leaving from any international departure point in the country. This includes airports and seaports.
The child’s name will usually stay on the family law watchlist for about two or three years.
In some cases, however, they may stay on the list until they turn 18.
A PACE Alert is against the child in question, not the parent or person with whom they may be travelling.
If your child’s name is on the Family Law Watchlist, the AFP will prevent them from leaving Australia, no matter the people they are travelling with.