14th April 2016
David De Alwis, Aitken Partners
In a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society like Australia, the biggest concern for most parents following separation (or even during a relationship when it is strained) is that one parent might take the child overseas on a medium to long-term basis and therefore deny the child the right to spend time with the other parent.
This article by MSI's Melbourne based law firm member Aitken Partners discusses the custody issues in cross-border situations.
In a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society like Australia, the biggest concern for most parents following separation (or even during a relationship when it is strained) is that one parent (‘the travelling parent’) might take the child overseas on a medium to long-term basis and therefore deny the child the right to spend time with the other parent (‘the left behind parent’).
This is particularly a concern when one parent is a citizen of a foreign country or has strong links to a foreign country (such as family and the ability to obtain a job overseas). It is inadvisable to wait until the child has been taken overseas with the hope that they will be ‘returned’ although it is possible in some cases to have a child returned pursuant to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (‘the Hague Convention’).
However, this is a long process and one that can be emotionally draining for the left behind parent. More importantly, it can also be an emotionally traumatic process for the child as well. If you have any concerns around these issues, it is much better to be on the front foot and prevent your child leaving Australia than trying to get them returned.
Download the full article on Children Overseas: Cross border custody and the left behind part
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