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Flight Risk? What You Need to Know about the Family Law Watch list

What is the Family Law Watchlist and what does it do?

The Family Law Watchlist, formerly known as the Airport Watchlist, is a system maintained and used by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to record the names of children who are prohibited by an order of a Court from leaving the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Family Law Watchlist is designed to trigger an alert at any point of international departure, such as an airport or cruise ship dock, when an attempt is made to remove the child from Australia. When the alert is raised, the child will be prevented by authorities from leaving Australia.

How do I get my children onto the Family Law Watchlist?

In order to have your children’s names placed on the Family Law Watchlist, you must either:

  • Have an order from the Court limiting or preventing the children’s overseas travel, and which also requests that the AFP place the children’s names on the Family Law Watchlist; or
  • Have filed an application with the Court which seeks an order limiting or preventing the children’s overseas travel, and which also requests that the AFP place the children’s names on the Family Law Watchlist; or
  • Have filed an appeal with the Court in relation to the order which placed the children’s names on the Family Law Watchlist.

Once you have an order from the Court in relation to the Family Law Watchlist or have filed an application with the Court seeking such an order, you must notify the AFP of the order having been made or the application having been filed. A Family Law Watchlist Request Form must be completed, providing details of the children’s passport numbers, and submitted to the AFP along with a copy of the Court order or application related to limiting or preventing overseas travel.

If you have concerns about your children being taken overseas, we suggest you obtain urgent family law advice. Contact us without further delay. Call us on 02 9018 9408 or send an email to info@mahonylawyers.com.au.

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