Managing Child Custody Across State And International Borders
Custody matters can be complicated in the best of circumstances. When one parent moves out of state or to another country, the issue of custody becomes legally complex and can lead to heated disagreements. Whether the move happens during the separation or after a finalized divorce, you will need an experienced attorney who knows the laws regarding interstate or international child custody.
At the Law Office of Ada M. Barreto, P.A., our family law team understands the difficult nature of these custody disputes. Our founding attorney, Ada M. Barreto, has over 25 years of experience helping families throughout the Miami region with divorce, custody and related family law issues.
Custody Across State Lines
Parents relocate for a variety of reasons during and after a divorce, wanting to take their children with them. Often, neither parent wants to spend too long away from a child, and moving to another state or country can make frequent visits impractical. Florida law does not allow the relocation of a child more than 50 miles without a court order or agreement. We can help you sort through the legal challenges involved in these requests.
Like most states across the country, Florida has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). This law allows for coordination between states to enforce custody and visitation agreements from another member state. This applies to new custody orders as well as modifications of an existing order.
One difficult part of the UCCJEA is deciding which state has the initial jurisdiction to decide the case if there is no existing order. For the most part, the child’s home state is wherever the child has lived with one parent for at least six months. That state has jurisdiction. Where an initial order already exists, the state that issued the order continues to have jurisdiction as long as at least one of the parents continues to live in that state.
A Global Perspective On Child Custody
The UCCJEA addresses the issue of international custody, stating that Florida must abide by a custody order from another country in certain circumstances and expects that other countries abide by Florida orders in return. The multilateral treaty known as the Hague Convention covers situations where a child is taken to another country in violation of a custody agreement. As long as the country is a member nation of the convention, its public officials have the power to locate and return the child home.
Relying on the legal system of another country to secure your parental rights can be stressful. Allow our experienced team to help you through the steps necessary to protect your relationship with your child.