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How does custody work when parents are from different countries?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2022 | Child Custody

If you and your co-parent have different nationalities, there may come a time when you disagree about where your child should live. It’s common after a divorce when one parent wants to return to their place of birth with the child.

Custody can be challenging to agree on when you both live close by to each other, let alone when one of you wants to take the child overseas. Therefore it is crucial to understand what laws apply in such situations.

You need a court’s permission to move with your child

Let’s say you are the one who wants to up sticks and move overseas with the child, but your co-parent disagrees. The one thing that is sure to worsen your situation is to just try and go. That could lead to border officials detaining you and your spouse accusing you of abducting the child.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction sets out that you must follow the rules of the country where the child usually lives. So, if they have been residing in the U.S. for the past few years, a U.S. court’s ruling on custody would hold sway. While not all countries have signed up to this agreement, it is wise to do things correctly to avoid creating problems for yourself.

Getting help to argue your case for custody in court will be crucial to allow you and your child to travel and begin a new life as you wish. Remember, most children want to see both parents, so think carefully about how you will facilitate this. If you can explain how to a court, they are more likely to approve your move than if it looks as though the child will never see the other parent again.