The statistics about abduction of children from Australia are shocking. For example, on average 2 to 3 children are wrongfully removed from Australia or kept in another country overseas every week by one of their parents.
The Federal Government has heeded recommendations of the Family Law Council of Australia and has proposed to implement laws giving the Family Court of Australia the power to stop child support payments that are paid to parents who abduct their children from Australia.
You might find yourself asking; why are these legislative changes necessary? Well, as the law currently stands, a parent who takes a child overseas for a holiday with the other parent’s consent and who then keeps the child overseas for longer than the other parent originally consented to (i.e. they only consented to the holiday) is not actually breaking any Australian law.
Essentially, the legislative changes proposed by the Federal Government, namely the proposed laws that will give the Family Court the power to stop child support payments being paid to parents who abduct their children from Australia, is aimed to deter this abhorrent behaviour.
Not only does the abduction of children from Australia have negative impacts on the wellbeing of the child who is abducted; it has adverse emotional and financial impacts on parents too.
Attorney General Robert McClelland strongly supports the proposed legislative change. The Federal Government proposes to implement its new legislation in the first half of 2012. Hopefully the proposed legislative amendments will deter child abduction and provide parents (and children) with much needed peace of mind.
For specialist family law advice from a lawyer who has expertise in this area of law, please contact us to speak with a family lawyer and obtain legal advice tailored to your circumstances.