Guideline 2 – recovery, location and information orders

Guideline 2 – recovery, location and information orders

Where one parent or caregiver removes a child from the other parent or caregiver, or fails to return the child, assistance may be available for representation in court under Guideline 2.1 – assistance for a recovery order.

Where information about the whereabouts of the child is required and a recovery order is not sought, assistance may be available for representation in court under Guideline 2.2 – assistance for a location or information order.

It is not necessary for there to be parenting orders in place for a court to make an order for the location and/or recovery of a child. Applications for legal assistance under these guidelines can be made in the following circumstances:

  • where there are parenting orders in place which specify who the child lives with and spends time with, and
    • the person who the child lives with, as specified in the orders, is seeking assistance to have the child returned to their care, or
    • the person who the child spends time with, as specified in the orders, is seeking assistance to have the child returned to enable them to continue spending time with the child, or
    • a person is responding to an application to the court for the location and/or recovery of a child

or

  • where there are no parenting orders in place which specify who the child lives with or spends time with, and
    • the person who the child usually lives with is seeking assistance to have the child returned to their care and can clearly establish that the child living with them is the usual arrangement, or
    • the person who the child usually spends time with is seeking assistance for the return of the child to enable them to continue spending time with the child, and can clearly establish that the child spending time with them is the usual arrangement, or
    • a person is responding to an application to the court for the location and/or recovery of a child

or

  • where information about the whereabouts of the child is sought.

Guideline 2.1 outlines the legal assistance available in circumstances where the child is, or is believed to be, still located in Australia. For information related to the limited circumstances in which assistance may be provided in matters involving international child abduction, see Guideline 3 – international child abduction.

For commentary relating to this section, see Notes on guideline 2.