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Proposed Overseas Travel Conditions/Orders

Orders proposed by non-custodian parent

My ex is proposing to travel overseas with our son. To minimise the risk that she may not return as both her and her current partner were born overseas I am proposing the following orders. We have a joint mediation session at a FRC shortly to discuss this matter and other children's matters.

Anyones opinion on the following proposal will be most appreciated. Most of the clauses come from previous judgements.


1.   For the purpose of the mothers overseas holiday travel with the child in 2012 / 13 the following conditions shall apply:

(i)    The father shall make application for the child to obtain a passport

(ii)    The mother shall pay half the cost the father incurs in obtaining the passport for the child

(iii)    The child's passport shall remain in the fathers possession

(iv)    No less than six months? prior to the mother intending to travel  overseas with the child, that mother shall provide the father with an itinerary of the proposed travel and accommodation  overseas, including dates of any travel, copies of return air fare bookings and confirmation of payment of the return airline tickets, and telephone contact numbers. The mother shall do all things necessary to enable the child to have telephone communication with the father twice a week. If the father does not hear from the child he be at liberty to contact the child on the aforementioned telephone numbers, twice per week.

(v)      The child is not permitted to travel to a country that is not a signatory of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

(vi)      The child is not permitted to travel overseas outside school holiday time and travel arrangements must not clash with the fathers school holiday time pursuant of clause 5 of the 2012 orders

(vii)      14 days prior to the mother intending to travel overseas with the child, the mother shall deposit into an agreed solicitors' Trust Account the sum of $10,000 as security until that mother's return with the child from  overseas; and the agreed solicitor receiving written notification from the father that the mother has returned the child's passport to the father as stipulated in clause (ix).  

(viii)      If the mother fails to return to Australia on the date stipulated without reasonable excuse and / or the mother fails to return the passport to the father as stipulated in clause (ix), the agreed solicitors are authorised to release the money held in the Trust Account to the father.

(ix)       Upon the child's return to Australia the mother must return the child's passport to the father as soon as possible and in any event within forty eight (48) hours.

(x)        Upon the mother fulfilling the above relevant requirements the father shall release the child's passport to the mother.

2.   Any proposed overseas travel for the child beyond 2013 will need the fathers' consent in writing or Order of Court. If written consent is granted by the father for the child to travel overseas the above mentioned conditions shall be applicable


In my opinion asking for 6 months notice of the itinerary is a bit much.  Many people dont' know that far in advance the exact itinerary or even book places.  You could ask for notification of intention to go overseas with dates and proposed arrangements but wait until much closer for actual copies of fares and everything.

$10,000 is a bit much as a deposit particularly if she is paying for an overseas trip.   You could always start there and be willing to compromise on less.

You might want to add a clause about sickness or accidents - travel insurance for illness/accident ceases the moment you return to Australia and you have to use medicare and any private insurance (if it covers accidents overseas - you may need to look that up if you have private cover).  I would add a clause that the parent taking the children overseas has to pay for all out of pocket expenses for any illness or accident that happens while overseas both overseas and on return to Australia.  You should also ask to be supplied with a copy of the travel insurance with the childrens' names on. 

The rest sounds pretty good to me.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Larissap said
$10,000 is a bit much as a deposit particularly if she is paying for an overseas trip.   You could always start there and be willing to compromise on less.
It's not that much at all to some, especially if they can consider an overseas trip or trips. However, it is nothing in regards to the costs that would likely be entailed should action needed to be taken to recover the child or children from overseas. i.e. it's nothing in the way of a surety.

Personally, I think a clause stipulating that all costs undertaken to take recovery action should be repaid by the errant parent should recovery action need to be taken.

I'd also suggest a clause that clearly indicates that the child or children are only provided the passports for temporary overseas visits.

It may come across better if a neutral person/body were to hold the passports, although there would likely be associated costs (so perhaps if the other parent is willing to meet half the costs of having the passport held otherwise the specified parent holds the passport).
Thanks for your advice larissap. I will change the clause about how much notice needs to be provided to something like your proposal. The judgement I obtained the information from for the Solicitors Trust Account clause was for an amount of $25,000. I thought that was a bit rich (although everyones circumstances are different). So I thought $10,000 was a good starting point. As you have pointed out it is a good place to start negotiating from. I will definitely add a clause about sickness / insurance / accidents etc.

A number of years ago there was a threat to move overseas. She also moved to another city a few years ago, however I managed to get our son back through the courts.

If you truly think she may abduct the children you don't need to give her permission to take them overseas at all if you don't want to.  Your signature is needed on the passport applications.  She can try and apply without you but would have to give a good reason and if you have evidence or strong indications she will abduct the children you could use that.  Also you can apply to put children on an airport watch if you are afraid of abduction.  I don't know the details or how easy it is to do but I am saying you have options.

If you don't think she is an abduction risk then the the deposit she leaves behind is not about the cost for you to get them back - and to be honest if someone is going to abduct children is the money they leave behind really going to stop them?  I don't know, only you know your ex.  Maybe there is something else that would bring her back home rather than money.

Also depends if you have any orders in place yet.  Lots of different variables, but like I said, if I truly thought my ex was an abduction risk with the kids I just wouldn't agree to him taking them overseas at all under any circumstances.  It isn't worth the risk.

Another thought, you could always ask at mediation what she would suggest as something to prove she will bring the children back otherwise you can't agree to her going.

Good luck mate

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
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