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The 5 common pitfalls with seeking a PACE Alert

Recently, we have seen an increase in clients making an urgent application to the Courts to seek an Order for their children to be placed on a ‘watch-list’, otherwise known as a ‘PACE alert’.

The purpose of a watch-list or PACE Order is so that your partner may not leave Australia with your children without your consent. This week alone we have had two clients urgently seeking this type of Order.

We seek to address some of the pitfalls we have seen in self-represented litigants attempting to file an urgent application for a PACE Order, as outlined below.

1. Make sure your child has a passport

If you are fearful that your spouse or partner may take your child overseas without your permission, be sure that your child has a passport.

Your child cannot leave the jurisdiction of Australia if no passport has been issued. In seeking a passport for your child, both parents are required to consent to the passport being issued with only very limited exceptions.

However, it is still prudent to arrange an appointment with us to begin your Application in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Law Court for your parenting dispute.

2. Have a reason why your partner is fleeing

The Court requires a factual reason as to why you believe that your partner may be trying to leave the jurisdiction of Australia with your child.

Try to gather as much relevant evidence as you can to inform the Court why you have this fear.

3. Know the difference between a Recovery Order and a PACE Order

A Recovery Order is an Order a person seeks if their partner has already left with their child, whereas a PACE Order is preventing them from leaving.

These two Orders are similar, however the effect of them is vastly different.

4. Ensure that your documentation is completed correctly

There are multiple forms and documents that need to be completed to make an application for a PACE Order. Some of these include:

An Initiating Application;

An Affidavit as to the facts and circumstances;

A Notice of Risk; and

An Affidavit for Non-Filing of a Family Dispute Resolution Certificate.

If you do not understand these documents, it is best that you make an appointment and seek legal advice urgently.

5. Take your Order to the Australian Federal Police!

Once you have received your Court Order from a judge or once you have your Initiating Application filed in the Court, remember to take the correct documents to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The purpose of receiving a PACE Order is so that the police may enforce the PACE Order at the Australian border, most commonly at airports.

The Courts and the Police are two distinct bodies and do not share documents unless you take the documents to the Police and hand the documents over. Therefore, it is essential to take your documents to the AFP as soon as possible.

If you have any concerns or fears about requiring a watch-list, come in and see us today.

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Michelle Porcheron Lawyers is a Gold Coast Law Firm which believes that clients’ success determines our own. So we ensure both by collaborating with our clients to achieve their goals.

We understand that your legal issue is important and that you not only want experienced advice, but also guidance through what is often a stressful and difficult time in your life.