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Which country's laws apply?

An Irish family with young children is living in Australia via the husband's work visa (they have applied for permanent residency and have been in Australia for about 2 years). The wife has fallen in love with an Australian and the couple has separated. If the husband chooses to move back to Ireland, what are the consequences for the wife and children? Are the children bound by Australian or Irish law?

Also, if the wife and children are able to stay in Australia, would the husband be required to provide child support if he is living in Ireland?

And an immigration question: can the wife apply for residency once she can prove a defacto relationship with the Australian, even while she is still legally married (albeit separated) in Ireland? (Note: divorce proceedings in Ireland can take several years.)
In brief the child or children will be considered as residing in Australia and thus Australian legislation will generally apply. You may recall the well reported Australian/Italian episode where as the mother had abducted the children from Italy that is where the Australian court returned the children for the Italian court to decide on the issues.

Pacific_Coaster said
Also, if the wife and children are able to stay in Australia, would the husband be required to provide child support if he is living in Ireland?

Ireland is a reciprocating jurisdiction and thus yes a parent can apply for child support here in Australia and the equivalent agency in Ireland would then be responsible for collection.

You may wish to have a look at The CSA Guide - 3.6.1 Registrable overseas maintenance liabilities

Pacific_Coaster said
And an immigration question: can the wife apply for residency once she can prove a defacto relationship with the Australian, even while she is still legally married (albeit separated) in Ireland? (Note: divorce proceedings in Ireland can take several years.)

I'm not at all sure, perhaps you should, if in Australia, call 131 881 and ask them (Immigration). However, I suspect that as the parent and children are likely covered by a visa (probably temporary I think) then they may be able to get a bridging visa until they are able to get a permanent visa.
Many thanks for these very helpful responses, which I have forwarded to the parties in question.  :thumbs:
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