International child custody disputes are a specialized area of child custody law involving complex legal issues of U.S. and international law.
Cases We Handle
At Aeschleman Law we handle situations in which:
- A parent wants to move to another country with the child, either after divorce or at the time of separation. We represent the parent wishing to move as well as the parent who seeks to prevent the move.
- A parent has already moved with the child and the other parent wants the child back. We represent the parent seeking the return of the child as well as defend the parent who wishes to stay with the child out of the U.S.
- Parents agree to the relocation of a child to another country and want to memorialize that agreement.
International Child Custody and Jurisdiction
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is applicable in all child custody matters, regardless of whether the proceeding concerns legal custody, physical custody, or visitation. Likewise, the UCCJEA has international application as well. Specifically, a foreign country’s child custody determination/order must be respected as if another state in the United States made the order, assuming there is substantial conformity with the UCCJEA. There are, however, a number of countries whose custody orders are not in conformity with the UCCJEA; and therefore, California will make its own custody order..
Generally, under the UCCJEA, a California court may hear and determine a child custody matter if the party seeking California jurisdiction can establish California as the child’s home state when the proceeding commenced or it was the child’s home state six months before commencement of the proceeding and a parent is present in the state despite the child being absent. The California court may also assert emergency jurisdiction and make emergency orders in appropriate cases. If the prerequisites for jurisdiction are met, California will have authority to make an initial child custody order.
The child custody attorneys at Aeschleman Law can help you determine whether California Court has jurisdiction to make or enforce a child custody order. Once jurisdiction is determined, Aeschleman Law will assist you in obtaining the child custody order you desire.
International Child Custody and Move-Away
All move-away cases pose challenging legal issues for parents and the Court. However, international move-away cases can be one of the most emotional and life changing issues that parties can deal with due to the distance that will be between the child and one parent.
In an international custody case, the Court must consider factors not considered in a domestic move-away case. The factors include the foreign country’s cultural practices, the likelihood and feasibility of continuing contact between the child and parent remaining in the United States, and, lastly, the jurisdictional issues affecting the enforceability of a California child custody order.
Of note, the California courts are reluctant to approve an international move-away when the proposed country of residence engages in oppressive practices that would detrimentally affect the child’s rights.
Whether you are a parent seeking an international move-away or a parent opposed to an international move-away, the international child custody attorneys at Aeschleman Law in San Jose can thoroughly review the circumstances of your case and advocate you interests in court.
International Child Abduction
International Child Abduction or the risk of abduction is a heartbreaking issue that some families face. Fortunately, with the right legal assistance there are steps that can be taken to help prevent an abduction. The Court has power to issue orders to prohibit the removal of a child from a county, state or country. The Court may also make orders concerning the holding of a child’s passports, the prohibition on renewing or applying for passports. When there is a specific risk of abduction, the Court may also require the parent who poses a risk to post a bond to ensure that the child will not be taken without great financial penalty. There may also be an order that the California custody order be registered in another country.
The Hague Convention and the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a treaty between member countries requiring that children under the age of 16 who have been wrongfully taken from their country of habitual residence to be returned to a member country. The goal is to ensure that a parent’s custody and visitation rights are respected internationally. It should be noted that the Hague Convention is not a method for litigating a child custody case but, rather, is a vehicle to assure that the child custody contest is litigated in the country of habitual residence. Not all countries are members to the Hague Convention, and therefore may not apply in your situation.
Additionally, the Federal International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (FIPKA) works in conjunction with the Hague Convention by making it a felony for someone to remove or attempt to remove a child 16 years or younger in violation of a child custody or visitation order. The primary goal is to deter and prevent parents from removing or keeping children in non-Hague countries.
Both the Hague Convention and FIPKA are powerful tools in international child abduction situations.
If you believe that there is a risk of abduction of your child, or your child has been abducted, contact the custody lawyers at Aeschleman Law for a consultation.
Legal Assistance in International Child Disputes
The international child custody attorneys at Aeschleman Law understand the emotional toll that is often attendant with child custody cases. The child custody lawyers at Aeschleman Law use their skill and experience to pursue a favorable resolution of child custody conflicts.
Aeschleman Law is located in San Jose and serves Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties. Call us today for an initial consultation at (408) 724-8930. You may also contact us by filling out the form on the bottom of this site.