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Child custody disputes can be emotionally difficult and legally complex — and they can be even more complicated when international borders are involved. While many Texans share connections with other countries, one of the issues that often arises in family law cases concerns international custody. Significantly, it’s not uncommon for custody disputes to arise when a child is brought to Texas from another country, or when a parent attempts to leave the United States with the child without the other parent’s consent.
If you are facing a cross-border child custody issue, it’s crucial to have an experienced family law attorney on your side who has knowledge regarding these matters and will zealously fight on your behalf. At Stacey Valdez & Associates, we provide aggressive advocacy to clients for international custody disputes and work to ensure the best interests of your children are met.
International child custody matters can arise due to a number of reasons. For instance, a parent may wish to relocate to be closer to family, take a new job, or have the opportunity to see new places and travel. But regardless of the circumstances, if a parent wishes to move abroad, they cannot simply take the child with them absent permission from the other parent or the court. Removal of a child outside their country would be a breach of the other parent’s custody rights — and considered international child abduction.
If you or your co-parent is seeking legal approval from a Texas court to move to a different country with your child, it must be established that international relocation is in the child’s best interests. The facts of every case are unique, and courts have wide discretion concerning whether the removal of a child to another country is proper.
In the event you are requesting to move abroad with your child, a judge will evaluate the following factors under the Texas Family Code:
Ensuring parental access to the child is paramount in international custody cases. In addition to the factors above, a Texas court might consider potential visitation issues the noncustodial parent might encounter and whether the country in which the parent seeks relocation is a signatory to the Hague Convention.
At Stacey Valdez & Associates, our attorneys are well-versed regarding the legal intricacies involved with cross-border child custody matters. Offering compassionate counsel and reliable representation, our attorneys work with clients to ensure their parental rights are protected — whether they choose to reside in Texas or relocate internationally.
International child custody matters often involve complicated jurisdictional issues. Unlike traditional custody disputes which only apply state law, international custody disputes are governed by federal statutes and international treaties. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction and Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act are two of the most important laws that are relied upon in these cases.
If your co-parent moved out of the country with your child without your authorization, time is of the essence and it’s critical to act quickly. You may be entitled to request that a court apply the Hague Convention to return your child to Texas. The international treaty has been signed by the United States and more than 100 other nations, setting forth a framework for the participating countries to work together to resolve international child abduction cases. Not only does the Hague Convention help to protect children from international parental abduction, but it also encourages prompt return of a child to their country of habitual residence.
Cross-border custody matters should not be undertaken on your own — it’s essential to have the representation of an international child custody attorney who can stand up for your legal rights and the best interests of your children. The attorneys at Stacey Valdez & Associates have extensive experience filing Hague Convention applications and assisting clients with a wide range of international child custody disputes.
International child custody is a highly nuanced area of law and it’s vital to have diligent counsel to guide you through the legal process. Striving to secure a positive outcome in every case, Stacey Valdez & Associates is dedicated to providing high-quality legal services for clients facing a wide variety of family law issues in Houston, Texas and the surrounding area. Schedule a consultation by contacting us online or calling (713) 294-7072 to learn how we can assist you.