Recovery Orders

Recovery Orders

What is a Recovery Order?

This is an Order made by the Court (usually the Federal Circuit Court) that requires a child or children to be returned to a parent of the child, or a person who has a parenting order that states the child lives with, spends time with or communicates with that person, or a person who has parental responsibility for the child.

Can I get a Recovery Order even if I don’t have Orders for the children to live with me?

In short, the answer is yes. If you are a parent of the child/children, you can apply for a Recovery order if the other parent has removed the children or the children are in danger.

How do I apply for a Recovery Order?

Typically, an application is made to the Federal Circuit Court (sometimes the Local Court). In your Application we will seek specific Orders. These Orders (if made by the Court) will authorise the Police to recover the child/children. In addition to your Application, we will also prepare an Affidavit for you. An Affidavit is your story to the Court, it tells the Court things such as who the children have been living with, the time that the children have been spending with each of their parents, the circumstances around the children being removed by the other parent, any safety factors and reasons why the Court should make the Recovery Order that you seek.

I have a Court Order that says the children live with me, why can’t the Police just go pick them up from the other parent?

This is a very common question. Unfortunately, our system does not work that way and the Police do not have the power to collect the children without a Recovery Order. Even though you might have Orders that say the children live with you or that they are supposed to be spending time with you, the Police cannot act on those Orders. This is why it is important you get advice and act quickly in regards to obtaining a Recovery Order.

How long does it take to get a Recovery Order?

Generally, this type of application will be treated urgently by the Court and you will get a listing much quicker than other matters. However, there is no specific timeframe as it all depends on which court and the area where you have applied as some courts have longer lists than others.

If you or someone you know needs advice about Recovery orders, please contact Turnbull Legal Solutions via the ‘contact us’ button on our website, or by calling 1300 101 529 or by emailing We are here to help.

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