It is easier now more than ever to build relationships with individuals from other countries. This means that international marriages are increasing. With the increasing number of international marriages comes the increase in international child custody disputes. A Georgia resident who is engaged in this type of dispute or fears that their ex-spouse will take their children out of the country needs to understand how child custody statutes and laws work and how they can protect their children.
The Hague Convention is an international treaty that was designed to protect children from international abductions. It applies to children who are 16 years of age and younger and in countries that have signed this convention. It is important for a parent who is in an international child custody dispute to become familiar with this treaty and understand how it can help a parent get children back who have been taken out of the country against their will.
There are protective steps that parents can take when they are concerned about an ex-spouse abducting a child. If there is an upcoming custody hearing in place or a child custody order in place, a person may be able to file a petition under the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, which will put limits on an ex-spouse’s ability to take the children out of the country.
Some individuals have been able to work with an attorney to determine where their ex-spouse lives and then proactively negotiate in order to have the children returned safely, voluntarily and promptly. A family law attorney may be able to provide other help in resolving international child custody cases, ensuring timely and fair court proceedings. An attorney may be able to provide information about religious and cultural beliefs and other matters that need to be considered when dealing with a foreign court.