Here are some random thoughts based on my experience and knowledge of Thailand rather than Laos. First, the situation on the ground may be very different from the legal situation. Assets that can't be found, or for which there is no proof of ownership, can't be disposed of by a court. Whoever has them gets to keep them. Second, the local partner will ask the court to dispose of the assets as soon as possible. If you (or your lawyer) aren't there, you can't do much. If you turn up 6 months later, your chances of getting any of the assets already disposed of will be low. Did he have a will in Australia or in Thailand (he could have one for each country)? If so, he could dispose of the assets as he wishes. If not, it will follow a preset formula and close relatives benefit, with children first in line. A child with a birth certificate listing him as the father would probably be nearest of kin. In Thailand, the executor of a will has to present a family tree diagram to the court. I don't know what happens if they simply say "no known relatives overseas." Another consideration is did he register the birth of his child with the Australian embassy? If he did, I would think the child's guardians could go after assets in Australia.
If you ask questions and provide more info., you may get better responses. A few things to consider, beyond rent, utilities and food: 1. Visas and visa runs 2. Health care - special needs, prescription drugs, insurance etc. 3. Transportation - city transport, car/moped purchase or rental (may need international driver's license) 4. Internet & phone 5. Emergency funds for accidental and exit plan 6. Children or pets - school, food and medical etc. 7. Entertainment - shopping, traveling, eating out, theater etc. If you are serious about making the trip, I would start by securing work placement for your wife - whether you do that before or after you arrive is up to you, but if you do it after, you'll have an easier time finding a cheaper and more convenient place to stay with your feet on the ground. Assuming your wife can find work, her income should be able to 'carry you', depending on which country you decide on. Visas won't be an issue for your wife if she can find work, for the most part. Different countries have different visas and visa policies, so you will want to see if you will be able to piggyback on your wife's visa in lieu of staying on a tourist visa...although, I'm not sure how that would work, to be honest. Also, depending on which country you decide on, as a teacher, your wife may be offered benefits such as PAID accommodation (schools will often provide you will a fully-paid-for apartment or something in places like China for only 20 hours of work/week), paid vacation, health benefits and even paid airline tickets to-from your country of origin (post-contract fulfillment for tickets, usually). Pay can be quite good, also, in places like Japan and S. Korea. Even private schools in places like Vietnam can pay quite well if she is qualified.
sarcasm is the lowest form of wit... anyway, the points that you are trying to make are not connected...IF you were to take a look at all cultures, there is probably a similar type of history...must we all read about a culture and learn about it before we can understand it? But, if it is your importance to be right...ok, you are right.
I go along with METHOS on this. To get married here in Laos requires a myriad of paperwork and one of those bits of paper is the Certificate of no impediment/Affidavit of Single Status. You can get 'married' by just having a simple ceremony in the persons village but this is not a legal marriage and is not recognised as such by say, the Australian authorities.I had to register my legal marriage with the Australian Embassy here in Vientiane. If you have not already done so,I would suggest that you obtain the services of a good lawyer in Vientiane. Get them to gather all information about his Lao wife and see if there was a village ceremony.