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VIC Family Court - Relocation Overseas?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by RelocatingFather, 3 June 2015.

  1. RelocatingFather

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    Hi there,

    I'm a father who has sole parental responsibility and custody of my two boys, ages 6 and 4. My ex-wife and their mother has been abusive to me and the elder child in the past and this is part of the reason why I was granted custody.

    I've remarried 2 years ago and now live with my wife, her two children (6 and 4 years too) from a previous marriage and my two boys as a blended family. I'm currently unemployed (have been for the past 3 months), prior to which I've been the sole provider for my family. The children get along really well with their step siblings and stepmum.

    Their biological Mother (my ex-wife) currently Skypes with the boys 4 times a week and sees them for 3 hours, supervised, every other week.

    Mother's has applied for shared custody of children, and there is a duty list hearing, end of June and a 2 day trial for final orders in August. Court has already ordered a psych assessment for me and mother and also a full family report. The psych assessment came back as both parents being sane and capable of being responsible parents. The family report consultant also interviewed me, my wife, the mother and the kids recently and is putting together a report for the trial in August. The children have an Independent Children's Lawyer ( ICL) as well. The current orders also have a mutually agreed airport watch list in place for the children.

    However, since the family consultant's interview, I have been made a job offer to work overseas and wish to relocate and am planning to put in an application in a case based on the following.

    • The salary is tax free (and twice what I'd make here) and there are a lot of perks like Housing Allowance + Schooling allowance for 3 children (step children included) + full medical / health cover + transport allowance + etc. the offer is a contract for 2 years with the possibility of an extension for another 2 years.
    • The children will be in an international school with fewer students in the class and better one on one care for my older son who is special needs and doesn't get that care here. and doesn't qualify for funding here.
    • Quality of life is comparable to Melbourne and then some, activities, housing.
    • The children and their mother have lived in this overseas country in the past (2009-2011) when I was there for a different 2 year contract.
    • It's in a country where my parents (children's grandparents) live, who have a very close relationship with the children. I also have other extended family there.
    • I've also been asked to vacate my current rental property in Melbourne as the owner has sold the property and needs to settle it as a vacant house by the end of July, so the matter is urgent and ideally I'd like it resolved before then.
    • I'm willing to pay for and fly the mother over to spend 2 weeks with the children every year during school holidays, which would actually be more time in total than what is currently happening.

    My questions are:
    1. Do I need to go the FDR route before putting in my application (I know the mother will be opposed)? Previous FDR's to do with supervised / amount of contact have not been successful.
    2. Should I let the family consultant know now about my job offer and intention to relocate? Or let the family court application and orders ask for it if required.
    3. Is there anything else I can do to expedite the process?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Interesting case. Are the orders you currently have final orders, made from previous proceedings, and the current application is one to have them changed?
     
  3. RelocatingFather

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    Yes, the current orders are final orders and the mother has applied to have them changed to get unsupervised time and shared custody.

    Thanks for replying. Interested in getting your opinion and happy to provide more info / answer questions.
     

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