Common Questions About Overseas Assets in Family Law

As a family law practice in Australia, we are often asked about the treatment of overseas assets in the context of marriage and divorce. In this blog, we will answer some of the most common questions about foreign assets.

Firstly, it's important to understand that the treatment of foreign assets in a divorce or separation will depend on the laws of the country where the assets are located. This means that it’s essential to seek legal advice specific to the laws of that country.

With that said, let's delve into some of the common questions that we receive about overseas assets in the context of family law in Australia.


Are Overseas Assets Considered in the Division of Property in a Divorce or Separation in Australia?

In short, yes. Under the Family Law Act 1975 in Australia, the court has the power to divide any property that the parties own, whether it is located in Australia or abroad. This includes assets such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, and business interests.

However, the court will only consider dividing overseas assets if it has jurisdiction to do so. This means that the court must have the power to enforce any orders that it makes in relation to these assets. If the court does not have jurisdiction, it may still take the overseas assets into account when determining the overall division of property, but it will not be able to make orders about how those assets should be divided.


How Do I Locate and Value Overseas Assets in the Context of a Divorce or Separation?

Locating and valuing overseas assets can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially if you are not familiar with the laws of the country where the assets are located. It may be necessary to engage the services of a local lawyer or other professional to assist with this process. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek court orders to access information about the overseas assets.

This could include orders for the production of documents or the examination of parties or witnesses. Once the assets have been located, it will be necessary to value them. This may involve obtaining professional valuations, such as from a real estate agent or financial advisor.


Can I Seek a Restraining Order to Prevent My Spouse From Disposing of Overseas Assets During the Divorce or Separation Process?

Yes, it may be possible to seek a restraining order to prevent your spouse from disposing of overseas assets during the divorce or separation process. This is known as a freezing order or Mareva injunction.

A freezing order is a court order that prohibits a party from disposing of, or dealing with, certain assets. It can be used to protect assets that are the subject of a dispute in family law proceedings.

To apply for a freezing order, you will need to show that there is a risk that your spouse may dispose of the assets in an attempt to defeat any orders that the court may make in relation to those assets. If the court is satisfied that there is such a risk, it may grant a freezing order to protect the assets until the matter is resolved.


Contact Pullos Lawyers For Enquiries About Overseas Assets and International Family Law

If you are dealing with foreign assets in the context of a divorce or separation, it is essential to seek legal advice from a lawyer who is familiar with international family law. At Pullos Lawyers, we have experience dealing with complex international family law matters, including the division of overseas assets. If you have questions about overseas assets and how they may be affected by a divorce or separation, get in touch for a consultation.