In the unfortunate situation where a parent removes a child and the other parent is unable to locate the child, a party can make an Application for a Location Order.
A Location Order requires a third party, such as the Australian Federal Police or Centrelink, to provide to the Court any information about the location of the child and/or the parent who has taken the child.
As well as the Application, the Applicant must also file a supporting Affidavit setting out:
- Their personal history and the personal history of the other party;
- The history of the relationship between the parties;
- Details of the history of previous court proceedings between the parties (or lack thereof);
- The relationship between the child and the Applicant;
- The possible location of the child and the basis of that belief;
- Any steps that they have taken to locate the child prior to filing the Application;
- The anticipated effect if the Court did not make the Order; and
- Why they believe the other party (e.g. Centrelink or the Australian Federal Police) will have the required information (e.g. the other party is believed to be receiving Centrelink payments.)
As with all parenting matters, the Applicant needs to convince the Court that the making of the Order is in the child’s best interests.
If the Application is successful, the third party (e.g. Centrelink or the Australian Federal Police) will provide the necessary information to the Registrar of the Court.
Location Orders can be a useful or necessary step in such situations, which thankfully are extremely rare.