WA Applying for a Relocation Order to New Zealand - Help?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Kiwimum

Member
3 August 2017
5
0
1
Hoping for some help please.

Long story short:

I realised last year that my relationship is not healthy and is abusive. My partner of nearly 15 years works fifo, and is very controlling. We have 3 children, ages 8,6,4 who were all born in NZ, although we have been living in WA for nearly 6years now.

Dec last year, he got made redundant so I applied for a local job for him thinking that would change our relationship, but it didn't get any better and in some ways got much worse. There has been no physical abuse aside from a shove here and there, but there has been some sexual abuse and a lot of emotional abuse.

After an incident in March, he took my eftpos card out of my purse before he left for work so I couldn't buy groceries and that was the final straw. I went to the doctor who referred me to a councilor. She has told me he is Narcissistic and a few other things and to get out.

So I started making plans to leave, and found out I can't go back to NZ because of the Hague Convention. As a New Zealander I am not entitled to financial support aside from family tax credit, so I have been advised to apply for a relocation order. He found out in June of my intentions and has advised that we are not going anywhere. He came home from work and for the last few weeks has been keeping tabs on my computer, phone, apple watch and emails checking any communication i have.

He has just returned back to work for two weeks, before he is home again so I need to do something. I am just terribly worried that I won't get granted a relocation order. I have only one family member here in WA, but he has banned her from coming to her house and banned our children from seeing her because she was supporting me in leaving him.

Any help would be very welcome
 

AllForHer

Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
3,664
680
2,894
Speak to a solicitor. Call Legal Aid as your first port of call.
 

Kiwimum

Member
3 August 2017
5
0
1
thanks I will get on to that tomorrow
Updating to say i realised last night that the fancy alarm clock he bought before he left for work is actually a camera. I didn't know such things existed but after he knew what i was doing yesterday (packing) i realised he must have had something connected. I logged into the router and saw something labelled CAM so i blocked it, then turned the alarm clock off in the bedroom, and it went off the router grid.

Is this illegal??
 

sammy01

Well-Known Member
27 September 2015
4,196
603
2,894
tell us about the living conditions. House? rented? owned? how much is owing? Do you work? can you afford to pay the bills on your own with help through the child support agency? Look you may have grounds for an AVO certainly being filmed without permission is problematic, not illegal necessarily, but definitely controlling. An AVO could see him removed from the house, that way the controlling behaviour stops.

As far as getting to move to NZ - look, kids are entitled to have a relationship with both parents...Relocation cases are very difficult to predict.
 

Kiwimum

Member
3 August 2017
5
0
1
tell us about the living conditions. House? rented? owned? how much is owing? Do you work? can you afford to pay the bills on your own with help through the child support agency? Look you may have grounds for an AVO certainly being filmed without permission is problematic, not illegal necessarily, but definitely controlling. An AVO could see him removed from the house, that way the controlling behaviour stops.

As far as getting to move to NZ - look, kids are entitled to have a relationship with both parents...Relocation cases are very difficult to predict.
We built the house not quite two years ago. It's not entirely finished (cosmetically) and there is a lot to pay on the mortgage. We also have a house we own still in Nz being rented out.
We had planned for this to be the last year living in oz, as both our families are back in NZ all in the same town. Partner was planning on still working over here and going to and from Nz on a 2/2 or 3/3 roster.

Let me be clear, I have no issue with him still having a relationship with the kids. They adore him and he them - most of the time. He is usually fine with them, but can be quick to fly off the handle especially after drinking. I would definitely want them to still have their relationship but would hope that he would refrain from drinking around them.

I have been actively applying for jobs in between school and kindy hours, but have not had much luck. With partner being fifo I have nobody who can share pickup and drop off so working late or morning shifts are a no go.

I realise that there is no guarentee I will be able to return home, so my backup plan is to apply for Australian citizenship and get some work, even cleaning.

I'm really not sure what else to do. I have no money of my own, the house and everything in it was bought with his money, and in his opinion I Can leave but without the children and just my clothes.

I have a letter from my councillor stating he is abusive, and I have a hidden USB with his abusive messages and threats on it.

I also realise that's neither here nor there. Yes I can prove he is controlling and abusive but I have no idea if any of that will help me get home.

Thanks for your advice
 

King Neptune

Well-Known Member
9 January 2017
20
1
129
Kiwimum very sorry to hear about your predicament. My circumstances were very similar to yours with regards to international relocation, and as others have said the outcome can be hard to predict. The thing that really makes this stressful is that you're intertwined in immigration law and family law, and the administering departments don't talk to each other, are slow to move and equally unpredictable. I've listed below some of the deciding factors that I was advised were relevant in my situation - I think the immigration situation between NZ and AUS is a bit 'special' though? I had 2x family and 2x immigration lawyers advising me in the end...one of them said situations like these are what you might expect to find in a Law School exam.

(a) What citizenship/visa's do you, your ex and the kids hold? If you're all here under some temporary arrangement it's harder to argue you stay as there's no guarantee that immigration will award something permanent.
(b) What is your/your ex's employment history like in AUS and NZ, and what are your prospects of employment (and earning capacity) in each? If you have both worked in NZ and there's employment in your fields of qualification/experience that's a plus for going back.
(c) What is your/your ex's support network like in AUS vs NZ? If you have nothing here and everything in NZ that's a good argument to return.
(d) Was the move over here undertaken on the premise that it be temporary? Got something in writing to support that?
(e) What is your asset base like in AUS vs NZ? If you still have bank accounts, a house etc back in NZ that's a plus (particularly if you moved here assuming it was temporary).
(f) How are the kids doing in school, what are their friendship networks like, what do they 'know' in terms of each country, how many times have they been back to NZ and what are their ties like? If you've been back to visit and family has visited that's a plus.
(g) What impact would a move have on the kids/yours/your ex's mental health?
(h) Other stuff...criminal histories, cultural ties if relevant, medical conditions, any large financial implications if you were to stay here (e.g. tax on selling the NZ house as a non-resident) etc

You've answered some of these already, but think through them - I'd recommend an appointment with an immigration lawyer to advise of potential outcomes and what moves you should/shouldn't make to try and arrive at the outcome you want (and that's best for the kids, of course). Throwing it out there, and without knowing all the details I'd reckon the possibilities are:
(a) If you're all tied to NZ and are here temporarily with no guarantee of a permanent move to AUS....you and the kids can go back. Up to the ex if he wants to as well
(b) If your ex can legally stay, and it's best for the kids to stay here...you be allowed to stay under a visitor arrangement until you get PR/citizenship. Ex might have to pay you spousal maintenance until that occurs.
(c) Any other possible outcome you can think of if you end up in court...
 

Lennon

Well-Known Member
11 September 2014
270
36
719
After an incident in March, he took my eftpos card out of my purse before he left for work so I couldn't buy groceries and that was the final straw. I went to the doctor who referred me to a councilor. She has told me he is Narcissistic and a few other things and to get out.
It is completely inappropriate for a counsellor to diagnose a person they have never met with a psychiatric condition. Not even a psychiatrist (who would be qualified to make such a diagnosis) should offer a diagnosis about a person they have never met. That is all kinds of wrong.

The obvious thing for you to do is to commence relocation proceedings as soon as possible. Is there any reason why you wouldn't do this?