Preventing your child being removed from New Zealand

9 June, 2015 | Smith and Partners

What do you do if you have a real fear that your child will be taken out of New Zealand without your consent?

You and the other parent/guardian of your child have a joint responsibility to make decisions about which country your child is to live in and whether they can travel overseas.
If you become aware that the other parent/guardian of your child intends to travel overseas with your child, and you have not consented to the proposed travel, you may have grounds to apply to the Family Court for an Order which prevents the removal of your child from New Zealand (Order Preventing Removal / “OPR”).

If you have a real fear that your child will be taken out of New Zealand without your consent, we advise that you contact us immediately.

It is possible to file an urgent application for an Order Preventing Removal in the Family Court. If the Court is satisfied that the other parent might take the child out of New Zealand, the Court can make an Order Preventing Removal or an Order for the child’s passport and other travel documents to be surrendered to the Court.

If the Court does make an Order Preventing Removal, the Court will contact Interpol and ensure a border alert is implemented.

It is important to note that when an Order Preventing Removal is in place, the child cannot be taken overseas by anyone, except if the Order Preventing Removal provides otherwise. This includes holidays to visit family and friends.

How long does an Order Preventing Removal last?

An Order Preventing Removal continues until it has been discharged or suspended by the Court, or until the child reaches 16 years of age. If you would like an OPR suspended or discharged, please contact us to discuss this further.

What happens if my child has already has been taken out of New Zealand?

If the other parent/guardian of your child takes your child overseas before you have obtained an Order Preventing Removal, or if they have taken your child overseas but have not returned when they said they would, the options available to you depend on which country your child has been taken to. If this is the case, we advise that you urgently contact us.

Are you concerned about your child being removed from New Zealand? Do you need legal assistance with any child custody matters?
If you would like to become a client of Smith and Partners and get help with your child custody law issue, please contact our Child Custody Lawyers by phone on 09 836 0939 or email to set up an appointment to discuss your child custody matter.
We will require a retainer to be paid prior to your first meeting, and we cannot assist with legal aid matters.

Please note that, in accordance with our obligations under the Lawyers and Conveyancers Act 2006, we cannot provide legal advice unless you have become a client of Smith and Partners and have received our Terms & Conditions of Engagement and Info for Clients.

Do you need to ensure your child cannot be removed from NZ?

Get started quickly — contact Family Law specialists today to set up an appointment.

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