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Let’s Move to Another Country!


I remember reading all the memes before the US Presidential of US Citizens contemplating leaving the US if Donald Trump was elected as President and Canada needing to build a wall to prevent mass immigration from the US. After the initial fits of laughter it made me think about couples and their families who want to move away from Australia. The world that we live in has become much smaller and it is common for a person’s employment to move them and their families all around the world. Sometimes a person just wants to experience something different.

No one in a committed relationship wants to think about separating from their partner but it is very important for a person moving from Australia to another country with their partner to think about what is to happen if they are to separate whilst living overseas. Here are some tips to consider if you are thinking of moving to another country from Australia for a temporary period of time:

  • Consider how long you, your partner and the children intend to live overseas. If you and your partner agree that you and the children will return to live in Australia after the agreed time then you should put this in writing and for it to be signed by both of you. This is not a guarantee that you and the children will be able to return to Australia to live but it will be evidence to assist if a dispute arises between you and your partner if you separate;
  • Keep as many ties to Australia as you can. This may include:
    • Keeping real estate in Australia such as the family home;
    • Keeping bank a bank account in Australia with funds in it;
    • Regularly returning to Australia to see family and friends;
    • Keeping in contact with your employer. Even see if your employer is prepared to offer you a job upon your return to Australia.
  • Find out from experienced international family lawyers in Australia and the proposed Country that you are travelling to about the law in relation to the breakdown of a relationship in Australia and in the proposed country that you will be living in and how compatible the laws are with each other. You will then have some knowledge of how easy or difficult it will be for you to leave the Country with your children and return to Australia;
  • Find out from an experienced Immigration Lawyer the impact of your status in the other Country if you were to separate from your partner particularly if your ability to stay in the other Country is connected to your partner. E.g will your immigration status be immediately revoked if you were to separate;
  • Always ensure that you have access to bank accounts and funds;
  • Have a plan of what is to happen if you were to separate and you want to return to Australia with the children. This may involve you and the children returning to Australia before informing your partner that you want to separate.

Separation is never easy for anyone let alone when you are in another Country and all you want is to return to Australia where you have the support of your family and your friends.

Image Credit – Denis Raev © 123RF.com

Written by Byron Leong on April 17, 2017

Byron has experience in complex matters involving Divorce Orders made and Divorce Agreements entered into pursuant to the Marriage Laws of China in relation to custody of children, property settlement and maintenance and he knows the importance of balancing family law issues in China with family law issues in Australia. View Byron's profile


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