International Family Law

As more and more people travel for work, education and leisure, it’s natural for relationships and families to form across international borders.

International family law matters add another layer of complexity to what is already a sensitive and complicated situation. Because of this, it’s essential to have the support of a legal team, like Rafton Family Lawyers, who specialise in family law, have experience in international law and care about getting the best results for you.

What happens if my family matter crosses international borders?

If you are experiencing a family break down in a relationship where both parties are from different countries, you might be wondering where you stand legally and what rights you have under international law.

We can determine for you:

  • If your marriage is recognised internationally
  • If you can get divorced internationally
  • If the same laws in regards to finances, divorce applications and child care arrangements apply in the other country
  • How your assets will be separated if they are in different countries
  • Which jurisdiction is best to file proceedings in
  • How long you should expect your case to go for
  • How laws in different countries will view same-sex relationships
  • Gender biases that may occur in foreign countries

Can my former partner relocate internationally with our child?

Sometimes the end of a relationship makes people want to relocate internationally. This might be to move closer to family or return to their home country.

If you have children in a relationship that has ended, it is important to consider the legal consequences of moving to another country carefully.

Every family is different, and every parent will feel differently about the idea of children relocating internationally. It is important to communicate about this from the start and come to an agreement that works for the parents and children.

If you can reach an agreement, it is best to have this solidified in a parenting order. That way, it can be enforced if either party does not meet the terms. Either parent can apply for a parenting order; this means you can apply to relocate with your child or to stop your former partner from taking your child out of the country.

In situations where an agreement can’t be reached, we recommend that you attend family mediation. Family mediation is the most effective way to resolve a dispute without the need for court while allowing both parties to maintain control of the negotiations.

If somebody does take your child out of the country without your permission, it is possible to have them brought back to Australia if the other country is part of the Hague Convention.

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction was introduced in Australia in 1983. It is a treaty between Australia and a number of other countries that have agreed to a legal procedure for returning abducted children to their home country. It also facilitates contact between parents and children who live in different countries.

If your child has been taken out of Australia illegally and is in a country bound by the Hague Convention, you can make an application to have them returned.

If you have concerns about anyone taking your children out of the country, you should contact us immediately to discuss your options.

International parental child abduction

When a parent takes a child out of the country without the permission of the other parent or the court, it is known as international parental child abduction.

It is important that if you have any concerns of this nature that you contact the police immediately. You may be able to place your child on the Family Law Watchlist, which will prevent them from leaving the country.

How can Rafton Family Lawyers Help?

If you need help with an international family law matter, please contact one of our offices in Richmond, Parramatta, St Clair or Glenmore Park. We will quickly determine the best course of action for your situation and support you through each step of the process.

Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

Rafton Conveyancing - Your Experts in Property

Whether you are buying or selling your first home, an investment property or a block of land, having an experienced legal team on hand to guide you through the process and ensure your transaction runs smoothly is critical. That’s where Rafton Conveyancying can help.

Rafton Arbitration & Mediation Brochure

Ensure that your clients are given the best possible opportunity to exit the Court process with a professional and efficient resolution to their family law dispute.