What Is an Urgent Recovery Order And When Would You Need One In Qld?

As a parent, there are few situations more stressful than your child being unilaterally removed from your home by your ex-partner, particularly if your ex-partner refuses to bring them back.

However, the Court has a legal mechanism that deals with unpermitted child relocation or abduction and can be implemented regardless of whether or not you have parenting orders in place or not.

This mechanism is called a recovery order, and it can be used to help ensure your child returns home safely. In this article, our legal experts give an overview of recovery orders as well as explain when you might need one and how to get an urgent recovery order in Qld.


What Is a Recovery Order?

As outlined in section 67Q of the Family Law Act 1975,  a recovery order is a court order which can require a child to be returned to a parent, or a person who has parental responsibility for the child.

Recovery orders can:

  • Direct police officers to find the child and return them;
  • Outline how a child must be looked after prior to their return; or
  • Prohibit the child from being taken again by whoever initially removed them.

A recovery order can also place restrictions on the respondent, such as limiting their time with the child or requiring them to surrender their passport.

Recovery orders can be made by either a Judge or a Magistrate and do not require the consent of the respondent.


When Would You Need A Recovery Order?

There are two main situations in which you might need to apply for a recovery order:

  • If your child has been unlawfully removed from your care (i.e. without your consent or permission), or
  • If you believe that your child is at risk of being removed from your care without your consent or permission.

If you do not fall into either of these categories, you will need to seek permission from the court before you can apply for a recovery order.


How To Apply For An Urgent Recovery Order in QLD

There are two ways to apply for an urgent recovery order in QLD:

  • You can file an application at your local court, or
  • You can contact the police and ask them to apply for a recovery order on your behalf.

If you have already started proceedings regarding parenting orders and you would like to apply for a recovery order, you will need to file an Application in a Proceeding and an affidavit outlining the facts supporting the application.

If there are no proceedings currently underway, you will need to include your recovery order application in an application for parenting orders.

You can make an application for a recovery order without notice to the respondent (i.e. the other parent), however, if you do this the Court must be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances which justify not giving notice.


What Happens Once I Have Applied?

When considering a recovery order, the court will always put the best interests of the child first. They will try to reach a solution that protects the child physically and psychologically while also facilitating the child's relationship with both parents. Because of this, the Court often begins by requesting that your ex-partner bring the child back voluntarily.

If the Court does make an order directing another person or party to recover a child, you must provide a copy of that order to the person or persons responsible for recovering the child (typically the Australian Federal Police.)

If the Court does make an order for the recovery of a child, you will be required to complete a Recovery Order Family Law Information Sheet which can be found here.


Need Legal Assistance With An Urgent Recovery Order in QLD?

If your child has been removed from your home, Pullos Lawyers can assist with lodging an urgent recovery order in QLD, or including a recovery order in parental orders. Our lawyers understand that the safety of your child is your absolute priority, and have extensive experience with bringing children back to their family. To speak to one of our experienced lawyers today, please get in touch via email, or call us in our Gold Coast office on (07) 5526 3646, or in Brisbane on (07) 3144 1641.