NSW De Facto Relationship and Domestic Violence - Seek Full Custody of Children?

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17 July 2015
Hi! I've lived here in Australia for 2 years now on a temporary visa and I have two children both under 2 years old born in Australia. Their father and I live together in a de facto relationship and i got a family visa through him cause he's a New Zealand citizen. For a while I was victim of domestic violence by my partner: physicaly, mentally, emotionally, threatens me.

Now I want to leave him and get full custody of children by bringing them back to my original country. Now will I have a chance to get legal custody because of the domestic violence issue?

Will my immigration status be an issue in this case? Will I have a chance to take the kids out of this country?

Thank you for any help.


Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
You can't remove the children from Australia without the father's consent. Doing so is abduction, which is a crime under The Hague Convention.

Domestic violence is also an argument that is not given as much weight as people hope in family court because it requires significant volumes of proof and must show there is a risk of harm to the children. If there is no unacceptable risk that the children - not you, but the children - will be at risk of harm in the father's care, it is unlikely you will be granted sole parental responsibility.

Remember, even if you and the father don't get along, your children have a legal right to know, spend time and communicate with both parents on a regular basis, and the court is there to uphold their rights.

Your immigration status is not an issue in family law proceedings.