International Custody Issues


Custody issues are difficult enough if both parents live in the same city or state.  If you or your ex-spouse want to live or travel abroad, custody becomes even trickier. Whether you are allowed to take your child overseas depends on a variety of factors. If you are facing an international custody issue, you need to seek the help of an experienced family lawyer before any travel takes place. 


In most instances, the parent who wants to move or travel abroad needs to get the approval of the other parent. For example, if you want to move to England and your ex does not agree, you will need to petition the court for permission. The judge will then decide what is in the best interest of the child. If your ex is an involved parent who is used to regularly seeing your child, chances are the judge will not agree to the move. The emotional health of your child is the most important consideration. The judge may be inclined to allow short trips, however. 


If the child is taken to another country without permission, a complicated legal procedure will follow. The outcome of your case will depend largely on which court has jurisdiction. If both spouses live in the same state, that state will assert its power to decide the custody case. However, once the children are in a foreign country, that country's court may claim the power to decide custody, depending on their own set of laws. To prevent a parent with foreign citizenship from kidnapping children from their legal home, 80 countries have agreed to the guidelines of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. These countries have agreed to return kidnapped children to the country of "their habitual residence." Other situations can be more complex. For instance, in one famous case, a foreign national lost his visa and had to leave the United States. The court ordered the children to live abroad with their father because he could not come to them. The mother was then forced to travel to France to see her children. The case has been fought for over three years and is still not resolved. 

To prevent these custody problems, you need to have an iron-clad agreement drawn up when you divorce. Of course, circumstances change, and these agreements may need to be altered. Whenever an issue arises, be certain to contact an experienced family law attorney. Do not agree to let your children visit another country unless you have all your legal safeguards in place. 


12 August 2015

family attorneys - what do they do?

Family attorneys are hired to help families through all sorts of things. Everything from divorce, child custody and adoption can be handled by a family attorney. If you are planning to adopt a child, you will need an attorney to help ensure that everything goes well. There are so many documents that need to filed, inspections to be performed and approvals to receive. This blog will cover all different kinds of cases and situations that a family attorney may be able to help your family with. Everything from the good to the bad will be discussed right here on my blog.