Eleanor Lau 0518

Living overseas and moving with children

Separating when you have children is hard enough, but if your separation means that one or the other parent may wish to relocate to another country, it is very important that you are aware of the legal aspects and implications of any proposed move.

Many countries are now signatories to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, including Australia, New Zealand, UK, Singapore, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. This private international law treaty provides for international cooperation to facilitate the return of children who have been removed from one member country and taken to another.

Depending on the jurisdictions that apply to you and your children, any relocation that occurs without the consent of the other parent, or leave of the relevant court, may prompt an application from the parent seeking to invoke the Hague Convention and bring an application for the return of children to their country where they live.

If you are concerned about the prospect of international child abduction, or if your child or children have been removed from a particular country by the other parent without your knowledge or consent, it is important to seek immediate specialist family law advice.

In some cases, issues can be addressed with the assistance of lawyers and resolved without the need to litigate. Court orders formalising the arrangement may then be made in the relevant jurisdiction and in certain cases recognised in other relevant jurisdictions.

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