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 Registration of overseas child orders

Overseas child custody and access orders

Australia has arrangements with some countries to register court orders made overseas so that they are enforceable in Australia. These countries can be found in Schedule 1A of the Family Law Regulations 1984 on the ComLaw website.

If you have a court order in one of those countries that you want registered in Australia, Regulation 23 of the Family Law Regulations 1984 sets out the process for doing so.

You will need to send a request to the International Family Law Section with three certified copies of the child order, and a certificate signed by an officer of a court or by some other authority in the country in which the order was made relating to the order. It must contain a statement that the order is, at the date of the certificate, enforceable in that country or jurisdiction.

A court order can be registered in Australia only if there is reason to believe that the child, a parent of the child, or another person who has rights relating to that child under a court order is in Australia.

You can send a request for registration of an overseas court order to the International Family Law Section at:

International Family Law Section
Attorney-General's Department
3–5 National Circuit
BARTON ACT 2600
AUSTRALIA

There is some provision under the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Cooperation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (the Child Protection Convention) for the registration of overseas child custody, access, or protection orders in Australia.

For more information, visit the International child protection page.

If you are unable to have your child court order registered in Australia through the processes listed above, you may need to obtain a new child court order in Australia. You may be able to do this by obtaining ‘consent’ orders signed by both parties, or by filing an application in a family court for a parenting order.

For more advice, you may want to contact a lawyer in Australia. Visit the Support and Assistance page for resources to help you locate a lawyer or legal service near you.

Hague Convention abduction or access application order

If the order you wish to have registered in Australia was made through an application under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, contact the Australian Central Authority or the central authority of the country in which the order was made.

You can contact the Australian Central Authority on 1800 100 480 or email australiancentralauthority@ag.gov.au. Contact details for central authorities in other countries are available on the Hague Conference on Private International Law website.

Registration of Australian child orders in other countries

There is a process under the Family Law Regulations 1984 (Regulation 24) for registering Australian court orders in a select number of other countries. This list of countries can be found in Schedule 1A of the Family Law Regulations 1984 on the ComLaw website.

Our department does not have any role in this process—you will need to work with the Registrar of the Australian court in which the order was made, registered or varied.

For more information, visit the Family Court website, the Federal Circuit Court website, the Family Court of Western Australia website or contact the family law courts below:

Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court
Call: 1300 352 000
Email: enquiries@familylawcourts.gov.au

Family Court of Western Australia
Call: 08 9224 8222

International child and spousal maintenance orders

The Department of Human Services (Child Support Agency) is the central authority for the administration of most international maintenance matters.

For more information about paying and receiving maintenance when one parent lives overseas, visit the Child support page on the Department of Human Services website