This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

References for taking a child overseas

References in relation to taking a child overseas.

Hague Convention

The Hague convention (28 Civil Aspects of Child Abduction) is an international treaty established in 1980 by the Hague Conference on Private International Law. Countries who are signatories of this treaty have agreed to co-operate where a child is abducted from the country where it lives. This means that proceedings can be instituted seeking the return of a child taken illegally to a signatory country.

The 'HCCH 28 status table' lists all of the countries who have signed up to this treaty numbered 28.


The site includes an international database of judicial decisions and commentary of cases concerning child abduction.

See HCCH—International child abduction database.

CCH Family law practice and commentary

The practitioner's checklist explains the steps necessary to make an application to court for changing child's name. It includes:

  • procedure for a child taken from Australia
  • what is required for return of a child under the Hague convention
  • procedure for the return of a child brought to Australia
  • links to relevant case law


  • [¶24-000] 'Child abduction'
  • [¶15-535] Removal of child out of jurisdiction

in CCH—Australian family law and practice commentary. (Note: an individual login is required.)

VLA Family law practice resources about child abduction issues

See Practice resources—Family law resources—PACE alerts.

VLA Professional support — Family law practice resources

The Professional support team have collated a page of resources to assist with family law practice. The page links to latest news, case notes and other relevant materials. The 'Related resources' section links to the latest edition of the 'Best practice guidelines for lawyers doing family law work'.

See Practice resources—Family(opens in a new window).

For a list of parenting order precedent documents see Practice resources—Family law resources—Precedent orders(opens in a new window).

Case summaries

For summaries of key family law cases see: Family case notes(opens in a new window).

Family law publications

The following publications may be useful:

  • How to run your family law case
  • Airport watch list order
  • Contravention kit

See Practice resources—Family law resources—Family law publications(opens in a new window).

Note: These resources are only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

The library has shortlisted some key resources for family law. These include loose-leaf services journals and key texts.

See Library and research tools—Family law research links(opens in a new window).

Note: These resources are only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

LexisNexis Practical Guidance: Family law

This resource has checklists and commentary about various family law matters.

See LexisNexis Practical guidance—Family law(opens in a new window).

Note: This resource is only available to staff at Victoria Legal Aid.

Federal Circuit and Family Court

The courts has a series of YouTube videos that are designed to assist people who are representing themselves in court. The video explains how to prepare for court, what to bring, what the court layout looks like and court etiquette. There is also a video that explains how to apply for divorce and how to serve divorce papers.

One video explains how to use the court's e-lodgement system.

See Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia—Official YouTube account(opens in a new window)

This specialist community legal service has developed a toolkit designed for use by other CLCs about how to be inclusive when practising, so as to be mindful of the needs of LGBTI clients.

See LGBTIQ Legal Service(opens in a new window).

Court network

This voluntary, non-legal service provides support, information and referral for people who are involved in the court system. They have an online referral service so that people can make a booking before they attend court to get some help from a volunteer.

See Court Network(opens in a new window).

The service also provides a booklet for people who are representing themselves at a final hearing in the Family Law Courts.

  • 'Resource booklet for people attending a final hearing in the Family Law Courts without a lawyer'

See Court Network—Brochures(opens in a new window).