Categories: The Family Lawyer Education Center336 words1.3 min read

International Property Settlement

About the Author: Kristdel Bolog

Kristdel practices solely in Family Law has been a Partner at The Family Lawyer since June 2019. Aside from her amazing ability to recite from memory the entire “Ode to Spot” by Commander Data, she has a wealth of knowledge and practical experience from a decade in the field of family law. Kristdel’s passion for the law and a love of helping people through difficult times enables her to put peoples minds at ease, even during complicated or bitter family court proceedings. As our resident “empath” she is The Family Lawyers’ Counsellor and is always there to listen to her colleagues or clients and bring a smile to their faces. Her nickname around the office is “the nerd”, a badge she wears proudly. Kristdel is hardworking, knowledgeable and dedicated to getting great outcomes for her clients. You can contact her at kbolog@thefamilylawyer.com.au or on 1300 111 835.
DATE

January 26, 2022

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International Relationships

In our modern, highly diversified world, it is not uncommon for parties to a relationship to have lived in more than one country, or to have assets in both Australia and overseas.  You might be an American immigrant with a 401K in the US, a Chinese permanent resident with assets in Singapore and mainland China, or an Australian ex-pat living in the United Kingdom with a holiday home in Australia.

Can property settlement be done in Australia?

The Australian Federal Circuit and Family Court may have jurisdiction over your property division, even if you do not live in Australia at the time of your separation.  Similarly, if you live in Australia but your assets are in another country, the Court may still have jurisdiction over your property division.

How does the Court determine whether they have the power to make orders about your property division?

Unless the Australian Court decides that Australia is a “clearly inappropriate” jurisdiction to determine your property division, it has the power to do so.  There are a number of factors which the Court will apply when deciding this, including:

  1. Of which country are you a citizen?
  2. In which country are you domiciled?  Where is your partner and/or your children domiciled?
  3. Are there already other proceedings in Australia, or in the foreign country (for example, for divorce, parenting arrangements and/or spousal maintenance)?
  4. In which country did most of the relationship take place?
  5. Are Australian Family Court Orders recognised in the foreign country?

This is a non-exhaustive list, and each may be applied differently, depending on your specific circumstances.

Which country is better to deal with my property settlement?

Family Law across the world varies enormously.  The property division considered appropriate in Australia may not be the same as the property division in America for example.  Similarly, a property settlement or maintenance order obtained in a foreign country is not necessarily binding in an Australian Court.  Again, it depends on the foreign country and the circumstances of your case.

How can we help?

If you need legal advice or support, our experienced and compassionate family lawyers can assist you, whatever stage you may be at. Talk to us today for a FREE 15-minute family law consultation by calling 1300 111 835 or via email at enquiries@thefamilylawyer.com.au we look forward to helping you achieve a better outcome.