Court Orders about Child Passports & Overseas Travel
Do both parents have to sign for a Child’s Passport to be issued? Almost always the answer is yes.
Separated or Divorced Parents can often have difficulty having the other parent sign a passport application form for their child.
Parents who have separated or divorced may also have concerns about the other parent taking the child travelling overseas.
If one of the parents will not sign the passport application form, then you might be able to make an application under special circumstances to the Australian Passports Office, for a passport to be issued for the child without the other parent’s signature.
You can read more about a special circumstances application in our information sheet Getting a Passport for a Child of Separated or Divorced Parents.
If your special circumstances application is not granted, if you don’t have any special circumstances, if you do not wish to make a special circumstances application, or if the matter is urgent, then you can apply to the Court for an Order than a passport be issued for a child despite the other parent not having signed the child passport application form.
In most cases you will need to have attempted mediation before you can make an application to the Court.
Types of Child Passport / Travel Orders made by Courts
As a parent you can make an Application to the Court for Orders that:
- A passport for the child be issued despite the other parent not signing the passport application form.
- The other parent sign the passport application form.
- A passport for the child not be issued.
- The child may leave Australia and travel overseas.
- The child may not leave Australia.
- A PACE alert be issued enabling the Australian Federal Police place the child on an Airport Watch List.
- The child is only to travel to certain destinations, for example only to countries for which the government has not issued a travel warning or only to Hague Convention Countries.
- The child is only to travel for certain lengths of time.
- The child’s passport (and/or that of the accompanying parent) be held by the Court and returned to the Court upon their return from overseas.
- The child may only travel after (or a passport released to a parent) after certain conditions are met, for example, at least four weeks in advance the travelling parent has given the other parent copies of their itinerary and return tickets as well as contact information and details of where they will be staying while travelling.
A Court Order will remain in place until the child turns 18 years, unless the Court orders otherwise.
How to make an Application to a Court
To make an application to the Court, the forms you will need to file in Court, are both an Application as well as an Affidavit in support.
Your Application will state the specific orders you want the court to make.
Your Affidavit in support of your application should state all of the facts and circumstances relevant to the matter, including those you want to rely on.
Basically your Affidavit should say all of the facts that you think will help your case or are relevant.
After you file three copies (one for the court, one for you and one for you to serve on the other parent) of your Application and Affidavit in Court, the Court will seal the documents and write the court date on the court sealed documents.
You will then need to have the court sealed copies of the Application and Affidavit formally served on the other parent.
After the other parent has been served with court sealed copies of all of the documents, you will have to file an Affidavit of Service so that you can prove to the Court that the other parent was served with copies of all the documents.
Child Passports & International Child Abduction: More Information
We also have the following pages providing additional information in relation to getting a Passport for a Child, International Child Abduction and Relocation of a Parent with a Child :
- How to get a Passport for a Child
- How to make a Special Circumstances Application for a Child Passport
- Stopping a Child Travelling overseas: Child already has Passport
- Stopping a Child Travelling Overseas: No Passport for Child Issued yet
- Court Orders regarding Passports and Overseas Travel Orders
- Matters considered by Courts regarding issuing a Passport or making an Overseas Travel Order
- List of Hague Convention Countries
- What happens when a Child is taken to a Hague Convention Country
- What happens when a Child is taken to a Non-Hague Convention Country
- Can I stop the other Parent Relocating with my Child
- How does a Court decide Relocation Cases if a Parent moves away or wants to move away
- Documenting your Parenting Agreement in a Binding and Enforceable way
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All Topics in the Child Issues Section
- Types of Parental Responsibility Orders
- Child’s Time with Parents: Shared Care or not
- Grandparents: Rights to see Grandchildren
- Documenting a Parenting Agreement
- Best Interests of the Children
- Relocation of a Parent with a Child
- Change of a Child’s Surname
- Child Passports & Overseas Travel after Separation or Divorce
- How to change a Final Parenting Order previously made by the Court
- International Child Abduction