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Child Recovery Orders

In the event that a parent doesn’t return a child to you despite the existence of a parenting order, you can apply for a recovery order from the Court. This order compels the other parent to return the child to you and can be enforced by the police and other authorities.

If you don’t have an existing parenting order, you can apply for both parenting and recovery orders simultaneously.

Unlike other parties, a grandparent can apply for a recovery order without an existing parenting order. Other individuals with parenting responsibility for the child can also apply for a parenting order.

A recovery order is considered an urgent application, and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA or family court) will prioritise such cases. To apply, you’ll need to produce an Affidavit, Application, Notice of Risk and letter of urgency upon filing the application. After submitting the required documents, a Registrar or Court officer will review your application and schedule a hearing.

If you need assistance with a child recovery order, contact PCL Lawyers. Our family lawyers in Sydney can provide guidance and support through the entire process to help you achieve the best outcome.

Child recovery lawyer sydney

What’s Involved in Obtaining a Child Recovery Order

Before obtaining a child recovery order, you must attempt to communicate with the other parent regarding the return of the child. If communication fails, you can enlist the help of other family members or friends to assist in speaking to the other parent.

If you’re unable to contact the other parent or if you don’t know the whereabouts of the child, you can apply for a location order. This order is usually directed to the Commonwealth, which will provide information about the child’s whereabouts.

Application Process

The first step in the application process is to file an Application with the Court. If you already have an existing parenting case, you can join the Application with the recovery order. If you don’t have a parenting order, you can apply for both the parenting order and recovery order at the same time.

The application requests the authorities to take action and specifies the action you want them to take, such as finding and recovering the child. To support your Application, you must also file an Affidavit. This document outlines important details of the situation to help the court arrive at a decision.

The Affidavit should include:

  • A brief history of your relationship with the person who has the child
  • A record of past court hearings and orders
  • Information regarding the child’s current living arrangements
  • The circumstances surrounding how and when the child was taken from you or not delivered to you
  • A detailed account of the steps you’ve taken to locate the child
  • Your belief regarding the current whereabouts of the child
  • Reasons why it’s in the best interests of the child to be returned to you
  • The potential effect on the child’s wellbeing if they’re not returned
  • Any other pertinent factors that should be considered by the CourtTop of Form

Court Proceedings

When considering a recovery order, the Court’s priority is to ensure that the child is returned to their parent with minimum disruption to their wellbeing. As a result, the Court will encourage the person who has taken the child in breach of a Court order to return the child voluntarily. If voluntary return isn’t possible, the Court may make an order that authorises the Australian Federal Police to recover the child.

Timelines for Obtaining a Recovery Order

The time it takes to obtain a recovery order depends on the urgency of the situation. In serious cases, the process can be almost immediate, while in less severe cases, it can take up to a week or more. The Court typically attempts to expedite the matter and schedule a hearing as soon as possible. It’s recommended that you seek legal advice promptly to understand your rights and take swift and decisive action.

Once the court issues the recovery order, the Australian Federal Police can intervene and locate the child to return them to you or in accordance with the orders.

Challenging a Recovery Order

If you disagree with a recovery order and you’re a party to the case, you’ll need to file your own application with the court to request a change to the order. In the meantime, you’re required to comply with the existing recovery order.

If you’re facing custody issues and need to apply for a recovery order, our team of children’s lawyers in Sydney can provide assistance. We have experience handling urgent matters and can guide you through the legal process of applying for a recovery order or modifying an existing order.

To learn more about how we can help you, speak with us today on 1300 907 335 or complete our online form. All enquiries are confidential.

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