Publication Order Highlights Father’s Plight to Find Missing Children

www.mamamia.com.au today reports on the plight of Harry Speath of Brisbane who has not seen his two young children since 2014.

Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) prohibits the publication or dissemination of any information which identifies a party to the proceedings or a person associated with the proceedings (such as children).

A breach of s121 is a Criminal offence, subject to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for up to a year.

In order to publish any information regarding a Family Law proceeding, a party must seek a Publication Order.

Such Orders are most commonly sought in parenting matters where one parent absconds with a child so that they can no longer see the other parent.

Unfortunately, even in the face of Court Orders, sometimes parents take the law into their own hands and resolve, for one reason or another, that their child or children is not deserving of a relationship with their other parent.

Sometimes these reasons can be fear of risk of harm to the child. However, sometimes these reasons can be more concerning, such as a parent engaging in Parental Alienation.

When a parent refuses to return children or otherwise removes them from the ability to spend time with their non-primary care giver, that parent can seek a Recovery Order from the Family Law Courts.

Such an Order authorises and directs the Australian Federal Police to search for the missing children and upon locating them, return them to the non-absconding parent.

A Publication Order is often used in conjunction with a Recovery Order so that the general public can assist in the location of missing children. They are most often used when the Federal Police have had significant difficulty in locating the child or children.

The Family Law Courts treat Recovery Order Applications with extreme urgency and it is important that swift action is taken in circumstances whereby a child or children have been removed from their primary caregiver or retained by their non-primary caregiver.

If you have urgent parenting matters, including Recovery order situations, it is of utmost importance to seek expert legal advice without delay. At Marino Law, our Family Law Accredited Specialist heads out family law team and we are available to see you for an urgent appointment.

‘My children’s mum came to pick them up one day in 2014. Then, my babies vanished.’