Recovery Orders

After you have filed an application for recovery orders, there will be a hearing to determine whether the orders should be made.

How the Court decides

The Court will consider the evidence and the law. The main concern will be the best interests of your children. The Court’s first priority when assessing this is protecting the child from harm (both psychological and physical), abuse, neglect or family violence.

If child welfare or police officers have been involved, the Court can contact them for more information. The court may decide that a recovery order would be more harmful to the child than if the living arrangements were decided through the parenting order process.

Outcome of the hearing

The Judicial Officer will decide whether to make a recovery order for your child. At the hearing, the judicial officer can:

Next steps

If a recovery order is made

Take the recovery order to the police station closest to where you think the child is. If you believe your child has been taken out of WA you need to contact the Australian Federal Police and complete a Recovery Order Family Law Information Sheet available from the AFP website. You should seek legal advice if this applies to you.

Police will locate and return the child. You can’t be present when they do this, but you will be waiting somewhere close by so the police can bring the child to you.

Once a recovery order has been made, it is likely that the Court will then have to make orders for the long term care arrangements for you child. This may take some time if you and the other person cannot agree.

The Court may refer you and the other person to mediation to try and work out the long term arrangements.

If no recovery order was made:

If no recovery order is made, you can continue to use family dispute resolution or apply for parenting orders that the child live with or spend time with you.

Last updated: 16-Apr-2018

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