Recovery of a child in Australia

What is a Recovery Order?

A recovery order is an order of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia that can require a child to be returned to:

  1. A parent;
  2. A person who has a Parenting Order; or
  3. A person who has parental responsibility for that child.


Will a Court agree that your child has been removed from your care and that you need the Courts help for the return of the child? Or is it more appropriate to argue that other party has breached current Parenting Orders?

We recommend that you speak to your lawyer if you are unsure.

Who can apply for a recovery order?

You may be eligible to apply for a recovery order if you are:

  1. A person who the child lives with, spends time with, or communicates with as stated in a Parenting Order;
  2. A person who has parental responsibility for the child in a Parenting Order;
  3. A grandparent of the child; or
  4. A person concerned with the care, welfare and development of the child (for example, you can be a person who the child lives with or spends time with but there is no Parenting Order in place that states this).

How to commence proceedings to recover your child?

1. File an Initiating Application and make it clear that you are seeking children (parenting) orders.

a. If there are no current Parenting Orders in place, attach Final Orders as Annexure A and Interim Orders as Annexure B in the Initiating Application.

b. You will be known as the Applicant and the other party will be known as the Respondent.

2.  File an Affidavit which sets out the existing arrangements for the care of the child and shows that the child lives normally with you and/or that you are the child's primary carer. The Affidavit will further need to include information regarding the circumstances of the child's removal and the detriment to the child of remaining in the sole care of the respondent.

3. If there is a risk to the child, file a Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence or Risk important if you are seeking an urgent recovery order.

Once you have filed your Application and supporting material to commence proceedings for a Recovery Order, either a Registrar or a Court officer will consider the urgency of the application and determine when it will be listed.

Contact us for more information on the recovery process or to book a free legal advice session to find out your options.

This information does not constitute legal advice. You should consult with a lawyer to obtain independent legal advice relevant to your situation.

Get started now

Book a Free Consult

Get in touch

Office: 61 Railway St,
Mudgeeraba, QLD, 4213

Postal: PO Box 4449,
Robina Town Centre, QLD, 4230

Find us

Google My Business