top of page


Recovery Orders are made for the return of a child of a relationship where that child has been removed from the usual place of residence without the prior knowledge or approval of the other parent. Failing to clarify your legal rights and obligations prior to moving can cause serious financial and emotional stress on both parents and children.

Has the other party moved your child without your knowledge or permission?

One of the most common enquiries we get at WLM Legal is what rights a parent has when the other takes, or threatens to take a child and move away without prior approval.

If this has happened to you, or you are concerned that it is likely to happen then we recommend seeking urgent legal advice.


The Family Court may be able to assist through the issuing of a location order which requires government departments such as Centrelink or the Police to give the Court information about the location of the missing parent or child.

Want to know more?

Let's talk!

Thanks! One of our friendly staff will be in touch!

Once the missing party has been located, the Court may be asked to issue a recovery order which will instruct the Police in the relevant area to locate the child and return them to the applicant party.

Parenting Orders provide surety for the care and protection of your children post separation

Can I prevent the unilateral removal of my child?

In certain circumstances, particularly where one parent has made threats to remove a child unilaterally, you may be able to apply for the child to be placed on a watchlist maintained by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The effect of this will be to flag any passport applications made in that child's name.

If the child already has a passport issued in their name,

then you may be able to apply for the child to be registered on the Family Law Watchlist which is operated by the Australian Federal Police.

Again, we strongly recommend that you seek urgent legal advice should you believe that your ex partner may be a flight risk.

My child has been taken overseas without my approval - what can I do?

If your child has already been taken overseas without your approval, it is imperative that you seek immediate legal advice. It is important to remember that the available options for the recovery of your child in these circumstances may very depending on what country they have been taken to.

WLM Legal has experience in these matters and is ready and able to assist in the recovery of your child.

Useful Resources

The Australian Federal Police provide some useful information about watch list orders and requirements on their website which can be accessed here.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website also provides detailed information relating to Child Alerts on their website, available here.

bottom of page