Alaska and New Zealand Firms Help Family Finalize Cross-Border Relocation

When a mother of two children wished to relocate her family from New Zealand to Alaska following her separation from her husband, she reached out to Sarah Badten of our Alaska member firm, Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot of Anchorage, for help.

Divorce and other significant changes can put an inordinate amount of personal and financial stress on families. When moving forward also means moving across borders, resolving such issues can become even more difficult. Together with assistance from member firm McVeagh Fleming of Auckland, New Zealand, Sarah was able to successfully negotiate this complex relocation.

After her initial contact with the client, Sarah referred her to John Woolley of McVeagh Fleming. In his turn, John connected the client with his firm’s Amy Wooding, who served as local counsel. Amy worked with the client to identify preferred terms of the relocation (taking into account the fact that the father was opposed to the move, despite his intention to also live in Alaska for four months each year) and attended the two-and-a-half day Family Court hearing in Nelson.

Following the hearing, the Family Court found in favor of the mother and approved the move, which took place at the end of 2019.

Based on Amy’s excellent representation, McVeagh Fleming was also instructed to resolve relationship property matters arising from the sale of the family’s former home. As Sarah noted recently, “This is an example of when Ally Law works!”