When people go through a separation or divorce in Australia, the division of assets can be a complex and sensitive matter. Matters become even more complex when one or both parties have overseas assets. For example, this could include bank accounts, investments, businesses and properties located outside of Australia.
The treatment of overseas assets requires in-depth consideration to ensure a just and just division of property.
Jurisdiction and Recognition
In family law proceedings, the Australian courts have jurisdiction over property matters relating to both assets located in Australia and assets held overseas. However, enforcing orders on overseas assets can be challenging, as the Australian courts do not have direct control over assets situated outside their jurisdiction.
The Family Law Act 1975 allows Australian courts to make orders regarding overseas assets. However, the court is also required to determine whether an order is likely to be acknowledged and enforced in the international jurisdiction. The court will also consider the complications and costs associated with enforcing the order overseas.
Do I have to disclose international assets?
During family law proceedings, both parties have a duty to provide full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances, including any overseas assets they may hold. Failing to disclose such assets can have severe consequences, as it can lead to court orders being set aside or penalties imposed on the non-disclosing party.
Overseas assets can significantly complicate family law proceedings in Australia. When presented with such complex matters, it is crucial for parties to seek legal advice from experienced family law practitioners. Open communication, full financial disclosure, and collaboration are essential in ensuring a just and equitable division of assets, both domestic and overseas. While enforcing orders on international assets may present challenges, it is possible with the right strategies and the cooperation of relevant jurisdictions.
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