Dealing with overseas assets owned by either one or both spouses, eg real estate, superannuation, or shares registered on a foreign stock exchange, can be a problem in a marriage breakdown.
Take the example where the husband resides in Singapore and the wife resides in Australia. Family law proceedings to dissolve the marriage and make a matrimonial property claim can be commenced separately by the husband in Singapore, and the wife in Australia.
In such circumstances it would be appropriate for the wife to apply to the Family Court in Australia for an anti-suit injunction, to stop the husband taking further action in Singapore. If the husband continued taking action in Singapore then he would be in contempt of the Australian Court.
In this scenario, the granting of an anti-suit injunction to the wife puts her in a good position as far as the Australian assets are concerned, as she would be able to deal with the Australian assets to the exclusion of the husband living in Singapore.
The downside is that in some remote countries such as in the Middle East, an Australian Judgment will not have much effect, unless the Judgment can be registered in the overseas country.
It may mean that the spouse living overseas will stay there and just go after the assets owned in the overseas country, while the spouse residing in Australia will concentrate on claiming the assets owned in Australia.
Whatever the situation, it is important that you speak with us as to whether an anti- suit injunction may be the right way for you to deal with matrimonial property owned in an overseas jurisdiction.