You may believe that all of your issues with your ex-spouse were resolved in your divorce settlement, but that is often not the case. If child custody was a hotly debated topic in your divorce, it can be concerning if your ex-spouse announces that he or she would like to take your children overseas. An even more difficult case occurs if your ex-spouse lives overseas and wants your children to visit him or her. Below are a few tips to consider:
- If you oppose the overseas visitation, it is imperative that you collect strong evidence that there is a very real risk that you child will not be returned. Your fear or suspicions regarding your ex’s intent is not enough to overcome your heavy burden of proof. You should show convincing evidence that there is a likelihood the other parent will not return your child such as previous threats to abduct the child, citizenship or strong emotional ties to another country, or a history of instability.
- You cannot rely solely on the other country’s reputation for danger or corruption. If the other country is a dangerous place or it has an ineffective legal system, you must present evidence to support your allegations. This may include calling an expert witness to testify.
- While the idea of your child being taken overseas may leave you panic-stricken, it is important to explain your concerns in a calm manner. You do not want to appear irrational or that you are taking action simply to inhibit your ex-spouse from having a relationship with the children.
- Most importantly, seek legal help as soon as possible. Although emergency hearings and orders are typically allowed, you are likely to obtain a more beneficial result if you appear before the court well before the intended departure date. A court is more likely to stop a trip that has not officially been planned or the airline tickets have not been purchased yet.
If you have questions regarding international family law matters, we can help. We have experience with matters such as international divorces, division of assets in foreign countries, international child visitation/custody, and international child abduction cases. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.