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NSW Can Ex-Wife Legally Demand Financial Support After Divorce Overseas?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by salman911, 18 July 2016.

  1. salman911

    salman911 Active Member

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    Hello guys,

    This question is asked by a friend so I'm posting it as below:

    A friend of mine divorced his wife before he entered Australia. Both husband and wife were on Permanent Residency and the wife was sort of a dependant of her husband and got her Permanent Residency through her husband.

    Now it has come to his knowledge that his wife has arrived in Australia and he is wondering whether she can engage him in family court or not.

    The following are his queries:

    1. Divorce was given on foreign soil and divorce letter has a date before my friend entered Australia. Could his ex-wife any way legally demand financial support or anything?

    Thanks
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    When was the divorce finalised?
     
  3. salman911

    salman911 Active Member

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    The divorce was given overseas and they don't have any children or any shared property. The guy has an official divorce letter which he posted to the ex-wife....
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but when? When was the divorce finalised? A year ago? Two years ago? Eight years ago? Yesterday? When?
     
  5. salman911

    salman911 Active Member

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    It was an islamic divorce. What happens legally is that the guy sends the divorce letter and after that, he has to inform local Union council. Those people then send three letters to both husband and wife. This process goes on for three months.

    After that, an official divorce certificate is issued.

    In the case of my friend, he couldn't get the divorce certificate because he was here in Australia.

    What would be the implications if, say, the divorce is not yet complete?
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Right.

    So, time limit on property settlement claims is 12 months from the date a divorce is finalised.

    However, you've said above there's no real property to be settled, nor are there are children to organise care arrangements for. The cost of pursuing a property settlement for assets worth next to nothing is going to cost more than she would likely gain, so I doubt this is actually a risk.

    You have, however, referred to to 'financial support', so I am assuming the crux of the issue is actually about spousal maintenance and whether she would be entitled to it.

    At law, there's no entitlement in Australia to spousal maintenance, meaning it will only be paid where there's an agreement between the parties or an order from the Court. Getting an order from the Court is burdensome work - she will need to prove that she is in a position of financial hardship as a result of the marriage, such that an order for spousal maintenance is necessary.

    If she is capable of meaningful employment, and he isn't earning enough to support both himself and her at the same time, it's unlikely that order would be granted. Ordinarily, spousal maintenance orders are only made for the duration of a property settlement being under way, so if there's no application for property settlement, it's unlikely there will be an application for spousal maintenance.

    So, in short, is she entitled to spousal maintenance? No, but can she apply for it through the Court? Sure. Is she likely to get it? No.
     
  7. salman911

    salman911 Active Member

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    @AllForHer
    Thanks a lot for your quick answers. Yes, there is no property to settle and no children and yeah he wanted to know about the spouse maintenance....

    Regards,
     
  8. Matthew Lynch

    Matthew Lynch Lawyer

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    One thing I would say is that if he owns property in his sole name, such as a house or savings in a bank account, and that property was accumulated during the relationship, then that property could be the subject of a s79 property adjustment order.
     
  9. salman911

    salman911 Active Member

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    Dear MatthewL,

    That guy doesn't had any property in his name and he now works here in Australia and have some savings after the divorce...
     

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