Brian D. Perskin & Associates
How Do Child Custody Laws Work When One Parent Moves Abroad

Today, we live in a global society. More and more people are venturing out and living far away from the places of their birth. While this desire to live and work in new, exciting places is great, this may not always be the case, especially when children are involved. How do child custody laws work when one parent moves abroad?

U.S. Family Law Courts Act in the Child’s Best Interest

When one parent decides that they wish to relocate abroad after a divorce, this can have drastic effects on the lives of the other parent and the children. All parents who wish to relocate with a child are required to receive the consent of the other parent. Failing this, they are required to receive the consent of the family court in the state where they currently reside. Even if a parent wants to move to another state, they must get the consent of the other parent or the consent of the family court.

child custody laws in ny

In the United States, family court judges are instructed to base their decisions regarding the living conditions of the children of divorce based upon the best interests of the children. If, for example, a father wishes to relocate from the U.S. to France with his child, but the child is unaccustomed to life in the U.S. or does not understand French, the court may decide that the child’s best interests are in staying with their mother in the U.S. Even if the father stands to earn a significantly higher income aboard, this will have much less weight on a family court than the child’s welfare.

U.S. Child Custody Laws Abroad

If a parent moves abroad with a child before the other partner grants permission, or before a family court approves the move, the situation can become murky. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Custody Act which covers child welfare and jurisdictional issues across state lines is enforced in the majority of the U.S., meaning, if a child is moved out of state against the consent of the family law court or the other parent, the court’s rulings will likely be upheld.

Internationally, however, this may not be the case. While many foreign countries are likely to cooperate with the United States and will help honor any family court rulings made in the U.S., this is not a guarantee. Some countries may not abide by these rulings, making it difficult for the other parent to regain access to their child. Because of the complex nature and issues concerning parents moving abroad with children, if you are planning on leaving the U.S., or suspect your ex may, you should consult an experienced family law attorney right away.

Contact an Experienced New York Family Law Attorney

Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of the most trusted names in New York when it comes to divorce. Brian and his experienced team are aggressive, intelligent and strategic. They work diligently with clients and customize representation strategies to fit individual needs. So if you’re looking for a divorce attorney who will fight for you, call Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. today at 718-875-7584 for your free consultation and learn why we’re New York’s premier divorce law firm.