International Family Law and Abduction/Relocation

There are a number of issues that arise in family law disputes under the umbrella of ‘international’ issues.

Financial Agreements and Binding Child Support Agreements for international couples

Often when parties enter into a Financial Agreement, there are international issues to consider when the parties reside in a an overseas jurisdiction at the time of separation. There may also be issues which arise when one (or both parties) are residing in an overseas jurisdiction at the time of signing the Agreement. These are important things to think about at the time of entering into these Agreements, and they are matters which we are able to provide you with advice on.

In relation to Binding Child Support Agreements, issues can also arise when one (or both) of the parties and/or are living in an overseas jurisdiction. We can advise you in relation to these issues and how best to protect yourself.

International child abduction

Unfortunately it is sometimes the case that one parent takes the child/ren out of Australia without the consent of the other parent. Australia has ratified the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. This means that if the overseas country where the child has been taken has also ratified the Convention, then it is possible to obtain an Order for the return of the child/ren from the Australian Courts, and that this Order will be enforced by the authorities in that overseas jurisdiction.

We can help you to make these applications and provide advice in relation to them.

If you are concerned that the other parent intends to take a child overseas and you do not consent, then it is possible to make an application to the Court for an Order preventing the parent from removing the child and also putting the child on the Airport Watch List (this means that if there is an attempt to take the child out of Australia, they will be stopped at the airport). The Court has wide-ranging powers in these cases and can even Order plane land after take-off to retrieve a child.

If either of these is situations is relevant to you we recommend that you make an appointment to speak to one of our lawyers as soon as possible, as there is significant risk in not taking action or not understanding your rights and obligations.

International Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Matters

See link in section on Child Support

If an Order for spousal maintenance has been made in an overseas jurisdiction, it is possible for that Order to be enforced by the Child Support Agency in Australia, depending on the circumstances of the case.

It is also possible, in certain circumstances to apply to the Family Courts to have the overseas order changed.

If either of these situations are relevant to you, you should contact our lawyers.

Financial issues for international couples

It is often the case that Australian couples who are separating hold assets- whether it be bank accounts; real estate; retirement funds etc overseas, or that they receive income in an overseas jurisdiction. We can advise you in relation to how to find assets which may not have been disclosed, which are overseas and also advise in relation to the implications on property settlement of holding assets or receiving income in overseas jurisdictions.