Custody Rights - Mother in Australia, Father in NZ?

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30 April 2014
My ex and I split a while ago. He has had my son in NZ as that's where he is originally from for nearly 2 months now. Yes, I did allow it as he hadn't met all of his family. He is 3 and my ex was having a lot of issues with missing his own family. All was going fine until recently when our daughter who I have with me got sick and I didn't take her to the doctors straight away, so he is saying I neglected her and wants to get her over to NZ with him and my 3 year old.

I don't want things to get ugly and I'm trying to still communicate with him and try and get him to see if we can work it out like civil adults as I still want my kids to be able to see him as they deserve to know both of us no matter what's going on between us.

Both my kids are Australian residents but I was just wondering what rights would I have regarding custody of children. Would he be successful in getting her over there to NZ?

Thanks. Sorry it's so long and winded.


Well-Known Member
24 April 2014
Wow this is a tough situation, I found some information at The Family Law Court website which I think might help you, I have pasted the link to the page at the bottom.

Moving away
Moving with the children to another town, state or country is known as relocation. If moving is going to limit the time the children live with or spend with a parent or another significant person in their lives, a court may not give permission.

Can children travel overseas?
Every time a parent wishes to take the children overseas for a holiday or permanently, the permission of the other parent must be obtained. Before an Australian passport can be issued for a child, the law requires the written consent of each person who has parental responsibility for a child. This is usually the child’s parents but may include grandparents or other relatives.

How can I prevent a child from leaving Australia?
If you are concerned that a child may leave Australia without your permission, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

You can apply to the Court for an order that:
  • prevents a passport being issued for a child
  • requires a person to deliver a child’s or accompanying adult’s passport to the Court, or
  • prevents a child from leaving Australia.'s Matters/Relocation and travel/