International Family LawNumerous international flags

International Family Law

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Our family lawyers can help you navigate the complicated waters of international family law – whether that’s arranging child support, care arrangements for children, divorce, or other jurisdictional issues.

Support Across All International Family Law Issues

International child abductionInternational child abduction

International child abduction

We can provide you with urgent assistance obtaining Orders if your child has been abducted and taken overseas. We’ll work with you to have your child returned home safely (provided the other country is a signatory to the Hague Convention).

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International relocationInternational relocation

International relocation

If you or your ex-partner plan to relocate your child overseas, you’ll require an agreement, or court order. Our family lawyers at Damien Greer Lawyers can help you negotiate a legally viable solution.

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Family Law WatchlistFamily Law Watchlist

Family Law Watchlist

If you have reason to believe your child may be abducted by their other parent with the intention of taking them out of Australia, you can apply to have your child placed on the Family Law Watchlist. This will prevent them from leaving the country without your express consent, or an Order of the Court.

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Recovery ordersRecovery orders

Recovery orders

If your child has been taken from you, you can apply to the court for what is known as a ‘Recovery Order’ under the Family Law Act.

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Overseas service of documentsOverseas service of documents

Overseas service of documents

You’re required to ‘serve’ your ex-partner with legal documents if you’ve initiated court proceedings, even if they live overseas. We can help talk you through the process, and if appropriate, we can also help you apply for substituted service or dispensation of service.

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Overseas parenting ordersOverseas parenting orders

Overseas parenting orders

If you’ve been granted child custody and access orders overseas, it may be possible to have those Orders registered in Australia. We can talk you through the process, and help get your orders recognised.

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Registration of overseas judgementsRegistration of overseas judgements

Registration of overseas judgements

If you’ve relocated to Australia following a family law dispute, you may consider having your overseas judgment registered and enforced in Australia. We can help break down the process.

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Forum disputesForum disputes

Forum disputes

If there are two forums available for your dispute, you’ll need advice on which is appropriate for your situation. We can explain the options to you, and outline the process.

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Departure prohibition ordersDeparture prohibition orders

Departure prohibition orders

Departure Prohibition Orders are made by the Child Support Registrar in instances where someone who owes child support is attempting to leave the country. We can advise you in relation to responding to Departure Prohibition Orders.

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Overseas maintenance liabilitiesOverseas maintenance liabilities

Overseas maintenance liabilities

If you’ve been issued with overseas maintenance liabilities, you’ll need to have them registered and enforced in Australia. We can help with this process, and help you get any overseas maintenance liabilities varied, if required.

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Prenuptial and cohabitation agreementsPrenuptial and cohabitation agreements

Prenuptial and cohabitation agreements

International prenuptial and/or cohabitation agreements are not valid in Australia. However, at Damien Greer Lawyers, we can help you convert your pre-existing agreement into a Consent Order, or ‘Binding Financial Agreement’ that will be enforceable in Australian courts.

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Overseas property lawOverseas property law

Overseas property law

If a relationship or marriage breakdown results in the division of foreign assets or property, the team at Damien Greer Lawyers can help you navigate international property law.

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International family law FAQs

You can get divorced in Australia if:
  • Either you or your spouse is an Australian citizen (this can be by birth, descent or grant of Australian citizenship)
  • Either you or your spouse currently live in Australia or have lived in Australia for the past 12 months
  • You plan to live in Australia indefinitely and consider Australia to be ‘home’
As long as you meet one of these three criteria, you’ll be able to apply for a divorce through the court. However, you will need to prove your circumstances and your eligibility.
If you and your partner get a divorce, then you may disagree about travel arrangements for your child. If you’d like to take your child on holiday, then you’ll need the other parent’s permission first. You should never take your child abroad without the agreement of the other parent. So, if they refuse, an application to the court for an order may be necessary. If the travelling parent is successful in obtaining an order, the court will often ask them to provide the non-travelling parent with a travel itinerary (including proof of return airfare ticketing) and a means of communication with the child for while they’re away.
A child should never be taken out of Australia without the consent of the other parent. This is because taking a child out of the country without the consent of the other parent is classed as international parental child abduction. If your child has been taken without your consent, you should make an Application to the Court for your child to be placed on the Family Law Watchlist with the assistance of the Australian Federal Police. If your child has been taken to a country that is a member of the Hague Convention, the Australian Central Authority may be able to assist you. If your child has been taken to a country that is not a member of the Hague Convention, you may be able to get assistance from the Consular Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The best international family lawyers (like us) will be able to advise you swiftly and give you the best possible chance of getting your child returned.
If you got married overseas, then your marriage will generally be recognised in Australia as long as:
  • The marriage was valid in the overseas country and met all of their requirements of marriage
  • The marriage would have been valid if it was carried out in Australia
An overseas marriage cannot be registered in Australia, but the foreign marriage certificate will be evidence that the marriage occurred. If your marriage certificate is not in English, then you’ll need it to be professionally translated. Your translator will also need to sign an affidavit saying that the translation is accurate and they have the necessary qualifications to carry out the translation.
If you have divorced in another country is may be necessary for you to enforce an order regarding your property division in Australia. Alternatively, you may need to enforce such an order made in Australia, in another country. We can provide you with advice regarding either of these situations.
Taking a child out of Australia without the other parent’s consent or refusing to return a child to Australia is wrongful removal or wrongful retention. It is often carried out by the other parent or a member of that parent’s family. The Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction was brought into force in Australia in 1983. Only countries who signed up to the Hague Convention are bound by its rules. It is the most common type of international family law and we are recognised as having experience in this field. This applies equally to parents who seek our help to bring their child back to Australia and those who find themselves defending child abduction proceedings in Australia. When child abduction has or may occur, urgent legal advice and action is vital.

A Wealth of International Family Law Experience

When your family law matter crosses international borders, things can get complicated. After all, family law is different in each country.

Over the years, we’ve developed close relationships with fellow Academy members at the International Academy of Family Lawyers, which means we work closely with family law experts in the United Kingdom, Europe, The Americas and Asia Pacific. This network ensures you will have a team of highly skilled lawyers (both in Australia and overseas) advising you every step of the way.

In addition, our Principal Damien Greer, has also participated in numerous multi-jurisdictional disputes and advised on complex financial settlements, prenuptial agreements and complicated children’s matters. Plus, Damien has also been appointed expert witness to the High Court Family Division in the United Kingdom and in the United States with respect to the application of Australian family law.

In 1996, Damien was invited to become a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), a peer acknowledgement of his expertise in family law. Damien regularly attends IAFL conferences and has presented to the Academy on multiple occasions.

Damien Greer

We take into account the constantly changing business and personal circumstances of our clients.

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