VIC Custody of Children, AVO and Child Support - Wife Leaves Australia with Child

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


19 March 2015
My wife has left Australia with our 2 year old child before. Threatened at the time to claim domestic violence as she became aware that that would entitle her to permanent residency (as a loophole) and did so on fictitious grounds. I successfully took out an AVO on her all be it after her falsified I could never find it in myself as a man to go to police first!
Not being able to see my child we got in contact again and she explained her insecurity and instability, missing her family and yes I felt sorry for her....She moved back in with me late last year (approx 4 months later), and has been doing so for approximately 4 months. She never has worked in any role since meeting me before and after our childs birth even though she says she wants to....
I have paid for, rent, living, childcare etc etc.
She got free legal representation here and I had to pay lawyers, even whilst she was awaiting her visa, and threatens me with this as well as I would have to move out as I can't leave her and our child without a home everywhere we live. Now she says again that if I don't pay for her to go to her country of birth for a while with our child she will just go and I will have to pay in any case. My questions are:
What are my rights in regards to:
I am paying the rent where we are here - if I leave I have to pay to live someone else - costly exercise - if I stay I am at risk of again her possible falsified claims of violence?
If she was to leave again with the child and go back to her country of birth (approx 30 hours flying away) - what is the process of divorce given we were married here and that there is a child involved?
If I have no reasonable possibility to see the child at all given the proximity of the 2 countries - and that she leaves with the child - what are my obligations in relation to child support? It must be noted here also that I believe I was deceived into buying an apartment over in her country signing a credit agreement in their language not realising their laws are that if done before marriage (given title could only be put in her name as I am not a resident of that country) that the apartment legally would be hers by law in that we agreed verbally that that would be for our child if anything happens to us? She claims that this is hers to do and live in how she wants (even though I have invested lets say AUD80,000 and that it in no way represents any child support regardless of the outcome of our marriage!
I will say that I realise there is an issue in society regarding violence but as a citizen of Australia having worked hard and wear my heart on my sleeve to be taken advantage of and feel our laws are exploited for self gain, I feel very much handcuffed and in a straight jacket....when these laws weren't intended to be used for this!
Any help would be much appreciated...


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
This is a very, very complex situation. You've got a property settlement on an international scale, domestic violence, a young child's care arrangements, risk of abduction to another country, consent issues...

We can provide general information about what the laws are in Australia, but I would very strongly advise speaking to a solicitor so they can appropriately address your unique and difficult situation.

Legal Aid offers free consultations, even if you don't qualify for funding. Please call them and book an appointment as quickly as possible.

The main concern I have with your situation is the child and the risk of international relocation. It becomes much harder for parents to settle affairs if one parent relocates internationally. I would even suggest taking the child's passport and keeping it safe from the mother until things are settled. You can also apply to have the child placed on the airport watch list to avoid an abduction of he child.

As a matter of interest, if there's no parenting orders in place, there is nothing legal that stops you from having primary care of the child. This means the mother can move out and the child can stay living with you.