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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34910
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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We married in England and emigrated to Australia 10 years

Customer Question

We married in England and emigrated to Australia 10 years ago. We have 2 children born in England now 11 and 13, also a daughter aged 6 born in Australia. My Scottish husband abandoned us in Australia less than 2 years ago, returning to Scotland, and since then, has announced his engagement and has had a new baby despite still being married. He has refused to pay maintenance and despite working as an IT manager at a private school in Scotland, tells the Australian authorities he earns less than £15kpa. I need to start divorce proceedings in Scotland to have custody, property and maintenance issues resolved. He refuses to discuss anything with me. He has visited the children in Australia 3 times and provides mobile phones for the children, so they can keep in touch with him, he pays for treats but refuses to help with school costs, food or rent, all this whilst claiming to have no money for maintenance. Can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

May I ask why you do not wish to deal with the divorce in Australia?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I began proceedings in Australia but he refused to respond to any correspondence. Each letter was costing me money and when the bill got up to $2000 with no progress I couldn't afford to go on. As you can imagine I am very short of funds.
My parents can help with costs in the UK and wont spin out of control as it does here in Australia.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am in Australia, my mother is typing on my behalf. Not able to call.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you have a skype number I could call
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
but not at the moment as children are in the room. it is better to type
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

No worries we can stay on the forum - ignore the popups!

Can you afford to come to the UK for hearings?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no, can my mother act with a POA?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I fear he will start proceedings to keep the children in the UK if I come into the country with them. He wants them back in the UK, but they are happy here
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.

No I am afraid your mother will not be able to deal with the matter - and if the assets are in Australia then it will be difficult to enforce any Order that is made here.

It would be better to start divorce proceedings in Australia - I find it unlikely that you cannot proceed if he does not respond at all

However you CAN issue proceedings in Scotland if you so wish - and you can make an application for Child maintenance there as well.

Please do not worry about the children - the issue of where they live has to be decided in Australia and not Scotland

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details