What Is The Family Law Watchlist?

Family Law Watchlist
01 Aug

What Is The Family Law Watchlist?

Family Law Watchlist

Family law WatchlistIt is not uncommon for a parent to be concerned that their ex-partner is going to take the children abroad without permission. In these circumstances, an application can be made to place the children on the Family Law Watchlist. This prevents the children leaving the country without the permission of both parents or a Court Order to do so.

Children may be placed on the Watchlist in the following circumstances:

  • The Court has issued an Order limiting or preventing a child’s overseas travel;
  • The Court has issued an injunction limiting or preventing a child’s overseas travel;
  • The child is the subject of a parenting order application currently before the Court that may limit or prevent overseas travel;
  • The child is the subject of an application for an order to place the child on the Watchlist; or
  • The child is the subject of a parenting order or injunction under appeal.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) maintains the Family Law Watchlist. The Watchlist is designed to alert the AFP to the movement of children and identify whether children are leaving Australia.

How do I place my child on the Family Law Watchlist?

If you need to place your child on the Family Law Watchlist, the following processes must be complied with:

  1. You will need to file an application with the Court for an order that limits or prevents the child’s overseas travel, and which also requests the AFP to place the child on the Watchlist; 
  2. You will need to complete the Family Law Watchlist Request Form; and
  3. You will need to provide the AFP with a copy of the application or order that places the child on the Family Law Watchlist. These documents and the Family Law Watchlist Request Form will need to be emailed or faxed to the AFP. The Court does not do this.

How do you confirm if your child is on the Family Law Watchlist?

To establish whether your child has been placed on the Family Law Watchlist, a Family Law Watchlist Enquiry Form will need to be completed and emailed to the AFP. Certified identification also needs to be submitted with Form, such as a Drivers Licence or Passport. The AFP also recommends providing a copy of the application or order that places the child on the Family Law Watchlist. 

The results of the enquiry will be subject to section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), which creates obligations regarding non-distribution or publication of information related to family law proceedings.

What are your obligations if your child is placed on the Family Law Watchlist?

Parents with children on the Family Law Watchlist have a responsibility to:

  • Provide the AFP with the child’s passport details, possible aliases and their 24-hour contact number;
  • Notify the AFP of any changes to their personal details and circumstances;
  • Notify the AFP of any new orders that may affect the child’s status on the ; and
  • Inform the AFP of their intention to travel (including where travel is permitted by the Court or consent) no less than 10 working days before departure.

Need Legal Help?

If you require any assistance with making an application to place your child on the Family Law Watchlist, please contact the Brisbane Family lawyers team at James Noble Law today for a FREE, no-obligation 20-minute consultation. To schedule an appointment with one of our Qualified and experienced and Family lawyers Brisbane.

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