The Reality of Recovery Orders: Gold Coast mother lost care of her child after father finds out about wild party at her home

A Gold Coast mother has made international headlines after reports detail that she allowed her 14 year old daughter to hold a party at their Varsity Lakes home which quickly spiralled into chaos. The Gold Coast Bulletin reports that ‘wannabe baby bikies’ destroyed a double garage door, and when neighbours asked them to leave, bashed them with pool cues. Reports indicate that the mother was on a three day bender which culminated with this out of control party. During the party where teenagers trashed the house and damaged property the mother’s two year old child remained inside sleeping.

Reports of police investigations indicate that the mother was under the influence of a substance at the party and has since been requested to vacate from the home by the landlord.

Following reports of the party, the father instructed solicitors to make an Application to the Court, we understand urgently seeking the two year old child be recovered to his care. Gold Coast Bulletin reported that the child’s father managed to get an outcome within only 24 hours of being notified about the party. Reports indicate that when the child was returned to the father the child kept repeatedly saying “I love you dad, I love you dad”.

This story highlights the ability of parties to make urgent applications to the court where they are concerned about the welfare of their child. In circumstances where a child is at risk of harm the court can make any orders necessary to protect the child from such risk. Such Orders may include a recovery order, requiring a child to be returned to a parent of the child, 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. Such an Order can be issued under Section 67Q of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). The Order may authorise or direct a person, including police officers, to take steps to find, recover and delivery a child to the relevant party. The Court has power to make a recovery order as it thinks proper, in accordance with Section 67U of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

If you are concerned about the welfare of your child and would like to obtain advice about your options in making an application to the Court seeking a recovery order or require assistance with respect to any other parenting matter, please contact our experienced Family Law Department today to speak to one of our Family Lawyers on the Gold Coast by phoning (07) 5591 5099.  


Author: Nicole Fitzgibbon

Partner: Sophie Pearson

Date: 10.07.2015