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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
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Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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If there has been no custody/parenting arrangments between

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If there has been no custody/parenting arrangments between my ex partner and myself before leaving Australia in 2010, and no custody orders or arrangements were made while living in NZ. It will be 3 years in Nov13 without any arrangements, where do I stand if my ex partner decides to begin a new custody/parenting order?
Communication was always kept open between the ex and our daughter, up until 6 months ago via phone and skype.
Hello and thank you for your question.

Your ex can apply for new parenting orders at any time, and there is no rule which restricts a party from repeatedly making fresh applications.

In practice the reasons why parties only make fresh applications if their circumstances change is that the court won't change its position from a previous ruling unless a party can demonstrate that circumstances have changed so as to justify fresh orders, and a party who brings a new application without good reason will likely be ordered to pay the other parties legal costs.

So if your partner is bringing an application for new orders now, you need to take them seriously.

If he is bringing the orders in New Zealand, when in fact your child now resides in Australia, then you may have a fight as to whether the proper jurisdiction is Australia or New Zealand, and this will turn on evidence about where the child resides and the circumstances in which the child left New Zealand, and what previous orders or arrangements were in place). Jurisdictional disputes like this can be difficult to resolve because in addition to family law issues, there are also international treaty obligations and the laws of two countries to consider. As an Australian lawyer I can say that the Australian courts have jurisdiction to hear such a claim, but that does not mean the New Zealand courts do not.

Generally, treaty obligations require that custodial issues are dealt with in the country where the child is ordinarily resident, and given it appears you have been out of New Zealand for 2 and half years I would expect that the Australian courts have exclusive jurisdiction, however, I am not an expert on New Zealand law and despite the treaty arrangements, New Zealand law permit New Zealand courts to deal with such matters anyway on the basis that the child is a New Zealand citizen.

I would suggest you raise this point with your ex, so that his lawyers investigate this, in the hope that if and when he does bring proceedings this issue will have been dealt with thoroughly, which may ultimately save you both considerable legal expense.

In any event, if your ex brings proceedings in New Zealand, then I would recommend you engage a New Zealand lawyer to deal with the proceedings but raise the jurisdictional issue at the outset so he or she can ensure this matter has been considered at the outset.

As to your issue of being processed as a new customer that is something you need to take up with the website operators customer service. I am an Australian lawyer contracted to the website operator to provide expert answers, but no involvement with how the website operates or registers customers.

I trust the above assists.

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Thank you and good luck.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX and I have only been back in Australia for 6 months, my ex partner remained here in Australia 2010, we returned to NZ 2010. No custody orders or arrangements were made prior to our leaving. And no arrangements or orders were made while residing in NZ. We returned to Australia 2013, so everything is new. I don't believe he has legal representation at this time? All this information on Court proceedings, missing persons reports, is via email from my ex partner. I just need to clarify a few basic issues around this particular topic, again thank you, XXXXX XXXXX to being processed as new customer, it was directed at the website operators. Please accept my apologies regards G.

Thank you,

Please rate my answer so I can be paid by the website operator.

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Thank you and good luck.

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