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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 18879
Experience:  32 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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We moved to NZ from Australia 5 years ago for my husbands

Customer Question

We moved to NZ from Australia 5 years ago for my husband's work and we agreed we would be here a for 5 years maximum and go back before our oldest child starts high school ( who is 9). Now my husband wants to stay and I do not. I miss my family and always aanted to bring my kids up in Australia. What are my rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

christhelawyer :

Hi Welcome to JustAnswer. My first response will follow shortly. Please feel free to follow up if anything is not clear

christhelawyer :

Relocation cases are always difficult. Are you thinking of leaving him and returning with the children?

christhelawyer :

I can give you some general advice about the rules, but in essence, where the children have settled into a country, for a period like this, you could not take the children without your husbands consent, and it would be inadvisable to just take them.

christhelawyer :

The relocation is covered by the Hague Convention and the Care of Children Act

christhelawyer :

The basic principles of the Convention are that:

  • The rights of the child are the primary consideration;
  • Custody of the child (which includes day to day care) should be determined in the country where the child usually lives;
  • Children should not be taken or kept overseas without the prior agreement of other people who are entitled by law to give their consent. If these people refused to consent, the correct thing would have been to seek the consent of the Court in New Zealand BEFORE the child was taken overseas.

If a child is abducted from New Zealand, the child is returned to New Zealand so that issues of parental responsibility can be resolved by the Family Court. If a child is wrongfully retained in New Zealand, the child is returned to their country of habitual residence.

The Hague Convention assumes that the courts in the child's country of habitual residence are best able to make decisions about the best interests of the child.

christhelawyer :

So you could relocate with his consent, and you will know whether that is possible.

Customer : No I would never take the children without us all going.
Customer : Is there any other information or advice you could give me?
christhelawyer :

Perhaps you consider counselling to enable you both to discuss the issue? This would enable a neutral person to assist you in the discussion.

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