Law Offices of Matthew S. Schultz, P.C.

How international custody disputes are handled

Globalization as well as the opportunity to work and study in other countries and have led to more "international" marriages. If two people from different countries separate after having children, custody issues could be quite complex. Individuals in Arizona may wonder how situations are handled when international custody disputes materialize.

Following a separation, one parent may take their child to another country without permission. These types of international abductions are often done in an attempt to remove the other parent from the child's life. However, the de facto noncustodial parent in such situations may have recourse available.

Ninety-eight countries have ratified the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. This treaty includes protocol that involves returning a child to their country of habitual residence if they have been wrongfully removed. The Hague Convention provides that the law of the child's habitual residence country will determine custody rights. It is important for unmarried parents to be extremely careful when international custody disputes arise because some countries do not provide custodial rights to unwed dads.

In countries that are not members of the Hague convention, remedies to child custody disputes are even less certain. Time is of the essence when a parent realizes that their children have been removed from their place of habitual residence by the other parent. They could discuss their situation with an attorney. Legal counsel could help a client see if the protections provided by the Hague Convention apply. From there, the lawyer could take the necessary steps to help their client restore custody.

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Law Offices of Matthew S. Schultz

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