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“I’m leaving on a jet plane…(dont know when the kids will be back again)…” How to avoid an international child custody dispute There has been a lot of publicity lately about the four girls caught in the middle of a dispute between their Australian mother and Italian father.  This case has been in the Family Court and will now be heard in the High Court. It serves as a good reminder that overseas travel by your children with your ex-partner is something that should not be taken lightly.  Australia is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.  Countries who sign the Convention agree that children, who are brought to their country without the consent of a parent in the other convention country, should be promptly returned to their country of residence. In broad terms, it has been a good example of international cooperation…

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The Italian Job…what actually happened in the return of the four sisters to Italy. By Adam Bak, Solicitor, Farrar Gesini Dunn The Family Court has endured heavy media scrutiny recently in a case in which a Judge ordered the return of four sisters, then aged between 8 and 14, to Italy. The Facts The brief facts of the case were that the mother, reported as Ms Garning, was born in Australia but moved to Italy when she was 16.  She fell in love with the father, reported as Mr V, and they married and had children in Italy.  Ms Garning and Mr V separated in 2008.  In 2010 Australian passports were issued for the four children and Ms Garning brought the children to Australia.  They remained in Australia for 2010 and 2011. The Law Australia is a signatory to the Hague Convention.  The Hague Convention is an international treaty which, in…

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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….

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Australia has agreements in relation to the enforcement and collection of child support and maintenance with a number of overseas countries. This means that in certain cases child support and maintenance obligations which are created in overseas jurisdictions can be enforced (and will be collected by) the Child Support Agency in Australia. It also means that in some circumstances child support/maintenance liabilities which are created in Australia are enforced/collected in overseas countries. In order for an overseas maintenance liability to be enforced by the Child Support Agency in Australia, in most cases the liability needs to be registered with the Child Support Agency and an application needs to be made to the Agency to enforce the liability. If a parent has a connection with Australia and they seek to have an overseas maintenance liability changed, then in some circumstances they may be able to apply to the Family Courts in…

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