Finding a child custody solution that both parents can accept can be difficult enough when both of you are originally from the United States. It can be even more challenging when one of you is from elsewhere.
Problems can arise if one party wishes to return to their country of birth with the child to live. They can even arise when they have no intention of doing that. The mere prospect of them taking the child out of the country to visit family could cause the other parent to panic and think their child might never return.
First things first. Many children travel out of the country with only one parent to see relatives every year. Almost all of them come back when they say they will without problems. So if your co-parent wants to take your child for a visit, you should not assume it is an elaborate kidnap attempt. Making unfounded accusations will only worsen the situation between you, which will make co-parenting more difficult and be harmful to your child. Besides, you or the court would need to give permission for any overseas travel.
What if they want to take your child to live overseas?
If your child habitually resides in the U.S., then international law recognizes that the state they live in has the authority to decide on custody. U.S. judges typically seek to have both parents maintain regular contact with their children. Your spouse would need a great argument to convince a Texas judge that moving with the child to California is in the child’s best interests, let alone taking them to live in another country. If there are no compelling reasons, the judge will decide it is in the child’s best interests to remain here in Texas.
Custody matters are often complex, and international ones even more so, so getting legal help will be crucial.