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Passports, Parenting Orders and Problematic Parents

by | Jul 10, 2022 | Family Law

As the world reopens, many people are again looking to travel overseas. In the case of separated parents, this will often include them and their children. There are some pitfalls particularly in relation to passports that parents even with finalised parenting orders may not appreciate:

    1.  Often final parenting orders incorporate that parents are allowed to take children with them overseas on holidays with appropriate notice provisions to the other parent.
    2.  What is often implied but not explicitly stated, is that the parents should cooperate with the travel arrangements required to give effect to that order – particularly about passport renewal.
    3.  A recalcitrant parent who refuses to sign a passport renewal, even in the face of explicit orders allowing travel, can frustrate or delay the ability of the other parent to travel with their  children.
    4. The Passports Office / DFAT in Australia is taking an extended period of time to process travel documents and passports at present, even with ‘urgency’ payments being made. It is not uncommon for several months to pass in the processing of application for passports. With children’s passports which are not usually simple renewals but wholly new passports in effect each time, the delay may be exacerbated.

What does this mean? You should look at your parenting orders well in advance of any planned travel, and plan out the timeline for getting both the other parents’ consent, and also their cooperation with what can be a lengthy passport process. Bring your situation to us to review what needs to happen and create a plan that will allow you to have the overseas holiday you have been dreaming about for the past two years. Call on 03 9614 7111 or email melbourne@nevettford.com.au so that we can assess your situation.