Divorce - Property Settlement and Maintenance Issues
Provided that an application is filed within 12 months of a final divorce order or within 2 years of the date of separation between de facto partners and complies with the legislation, the Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court of Australia have jurisdiction to deal with property settlement applications and spousal maintenance applications. This is subject to either party in the marriage being an Australian citizen, ordinarily resident in Australia, or present in Australia at the relevant date ie., the date on which the proceedings were filed in Court or the date when the application instituting the proceedings was actually made.
Once again the Courts do have jurisdiction to deal with property and spousal maintenance applications despite the fact that the parties may not be in Australia at the time, as long as they are Australian citizens. However, there can be major difficulties in enforcing such orders against property in overseas countries. The Court has jurisdiction over the people but not over fixed property unless that fixed property is within Australia.
Independent legal advice should be obtained before taking any steps at all in respect of these matters.