kidnapping family law

Child kidnapping cases in Australia family law

Help! My ex-partner has kidnapped our child! Will the police help?

The short answer is no.

Clients often come to us stating that their partner has taken the child and that the police won’t help. In most instances a parent taking a child is not considered ‘kidnapping’ which is normally a term applied to the scenario when a child is take away without their consent or parent’s consent, by a stranger.

The police won’t always take action regarding your ex-partner taking your child unless there is an immediate risk of harm and danger to the child. Anything short of real danger but constitutes a risk will mean normally the Department of Health and Human Service (DHS) is notified.

There are many cases of withholding children after a contact visit that take place that does not attract the help of police nor  DHS. If that is the case the main avenue to address such issues is via legal advice and action including any urgent Family Law Court orders.

There are different procedures depending on whether a family law order already exists and is being breached, or there is no order in place.  You need to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity and not a couple of weeks after the event otherwise you may be prejudiced in the outcome. The appropriate legal action in most instances is what is called a “recovery order” which needs to be applied for urgently.  If you wait weeks or months later your concerns will be in doubt when you put forward your evidence. For the best possible outcome seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity and not when it is too late. In many cases, an experienced family lawyer will be able to negotiate the return of the child without the necessity of a recovery order and involvement of the Sheriff or Police or other authorities.

Who pays for the school fees after we separate?

This is one of the more common enquiries we receive.

There can be formal or informal arrangements relating to school fees, extracurricular expenses and any other expenses relating to your child.

To ensure that your child’s needs are addressed, arrange to speak with one of our lawyers as soon as is practicable.

If you would like to know more about this topic -take advantage of our free half hour legal consults. They can be done in person or via Skype or telephone conference. 

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