Child Recovery Orders

A child recovery order is defined in s67Q of the Family Law Act 1975.Child Recovery Orders

It is an order of the court that can require a child to be returned to a

  • Parent of the child;
  • Person who has a parenting order that states that the child lives with, spends time with or communicates with that person, or
  • A person who has parental responsibility for the child


If there are no parenting orders in place there will be a need to file an ‘Initiating Application’ seeking parenting orders at the same time as applying for a recovery order.

Before applying to the court for a recovery order you should seek legal advice.  We have over 20 years of experience in assisting clients with applying and obtaining recovery orders for children.

If the court makes a recovery order directing the police to recover the child they will need to be notified.  In most instances the notification is sent to the Australian Federal Police.

A recovery order can also prohibit the person who removed the child from your care from again removing the child from you.


Who can Apply for a Recovery Order?

  1. The person who the child lives with as stated in a parenting order
  2. A person who has parental responsibility for the child
  3. A grandparent of the child
  4. A person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child.

Eg: a person whom the child lives with or spends time with but there is no parenting order that states this.

You should seek legal advice about what is needed to file a recovery order from our experienced lawyers.



When you go to court seeking a recovery order of your child it can be a daunting experience.  This is why we recommend that you have us provide you with legal advice and guide you through the process.

The court must regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration when looking at an application for a recovery order.

The court may make an order which allows for the return of the child to you at a designated time and location.

This can often be a better way of recovering the child as opposed to sending the police around.  As it can be equally traumatic for the child having the police follow a recovery order and remove them from what is often their other parent.

The court can order that the police, usually the Australian Federal Police recover the child.  You may if this should be the order made by the court have to be prepared to travel to collect the child from the location where they are found.

If the child has been taken overseas, the Hague Convention may apply.  You will need to speak to one of our experienced lawyers to discuss and obtain further legal advice in relation to recovery orders when a child is removed from Australia.

If you have any questions or need legal advice in relation to recovery orders please do not hesitate to contact Able Defence Lawyers, your experts in child recovery orders.