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Family Law – Children – Recovery Orders

Once you separate, you and your former partner will need to make some immediate decisions about practical issues about your children. It is a good idea once you have made the decision to separate to get legal advice. Unfortunately children often become embroiled in a tug-o-war situation when their parents are living separately, but both parents need to remember that they need to put the child’s best interests before any other concerns.

Often, parents will usually agree on an arrangement relating to which parent has daily care of the children and where the children are to live etc. However, these arrangements generally tend to break down if one parent is finding that the arrangement is not working for them or if it is becoming inconvenient or difficult for them. This may lead to that parent not returning the child to the other parent. If this happens, you need to act quickly and contact us immediately so that we may apply for to the Courts for a Recovery Order. Here at LAC Lawyers, our experienced solicitors can guide you through this traumatic and cumbersome process, as painlessly as possible!

Recovery orders

A recovery order is defined in section 67Q of the Family Law Act 1975. It is an order of the Court that can require a child be returned to a:

  • parent of the child
  • person who has a parenting order that states the child lives with, spends time with or communicates with that person, or
  • person who has parental responsibility for the child.

A recovery order can authorise or direct a person or persons, such as police officers, to take appropriate action to find, recover and deliver a child to one of the people listed above. As well, a recovery order can provide directions about the day-to-day care of a child until the child is returned or delivered.

A recovery order can also prohibit the person from again removing or taking possession of the child. In these cases, a recovery order can authorise the arrest (without warrant) of the person who again removes or takes possession of the child.


Who can apply?

You can apply for a recovery order if you are a:

  • person who the child lives with, spends time with or communicates with as stated in a parenting order
  • person who has parental responsibility for the child in a parenting order
  • grandparent of the child, or
  • person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child. For example, you may be the person who the child lives or spends time with but there is no parenting order that states this.

How do I apply?

We can make an application on your behalf. On the application form, you must say what orders you are asking the Court to make. You must also file an affidavit to support your application. Again, we will help you prepare this. It is essential that all relevant facts are disclosed, particularly evidence relating to any complaint that the person with the child might have about you.

Your chances of recovering the child will improve if you have information about where the child is likely to be. You should collect as much information as possible to help authorities find and return the child.

What happens at court?

In deciding whether to make a recovery order, the Court must regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration. The Court may make an order which allows or requires a person to return the child to you at a designated time and place. In some cases, the Court may make a recovery order which authorises or directs a person or persons, such as police officers, to take appropriate action to find, recover and deliver the child to you.

When the child is returned to you, you must notify registry staff at the Court as soon as practicable.

Legal advice may help you understand the law relating to family disputes and help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities. Why don’t you give us a call today to have one of our experienced Solicitors attend to your questions at a conference.