If you have the main custody of your child, either because you're the sole custodian or you see the child more in a joint-custody agreement, you might think you can move abroad and take the child with you without getting anyone's permission. Not so. Moves abroad are difficult to pull off in a custody agreement if the other parent objects, often more difficult than interstate moves. You have to answer a number of serious questions about the move and its effect on the child, and a court will usually have the last word.
Why Must Child Go?
Why does the child have to go with you instead of going to live with the other parent? Obviously, this assumes the other parent (or other local family) are fit to take care of the child if needed. So if your spouse has a room for the child and wants the child to stay, and the child wants to stay, why does the child need to disrupt his or her life and go with you to the new country for a long-term residency?
How Will It Benefit the Child?
Any move to an area that is out of easy reach of the other parent needs to benefit the child somehow. Moving a child from a city where he or she has access to great education, visits with family, and many friends to a city and country where education is poor and there are no family members will not seem that beneficial, for example, unless you can show how the child would benefit from it anyway.
How Will Visitation Be Handled?
The non-custodial parent, assuming he or she hasn't lost visitation rights, will still want to see the child if the overseas relocation is long-term or indefinite. How will you handle this?
What Are Conditions Like in the Other Country?
How safe is the new country? If the country is known for high crime, for example, courts might not look very kindly upon you taking the child there. Or, if the country is known for not being very friendly toward your religion, for example, and the child risks facing danger because of that, the court may very well rule against you for the safety of the child.
What Family or Other Support Will There Be for the Child?
Adjusting to a new country is difficult, and the child has to have some sort of support network in the new country. If you want to take the child to a country where you have no family, and you're going to be working all the time, what will the child do if he or she has trouble in school or is bullied? Will the child attend an international school or a local one where the child might not know the language?
How Long Will the Child Be in the New Country?
The length of the stay, as well as the timing of the move, can make all the difference. A finite overseas assignment of a couple of years for the parent, for example, is a lot different than the parent wanting to move overseas for the rest of his or her life.
If you want to move abroad, be it for a job or another reason, you need to speak to a lawyer before you assume your child can go with you. Even if you think the other parent will agree to your plans, it's best to run everything past a lawyer first to ensure you haven't forgotten anything. Contact a firm like Carmen DiAmore-Siah Attorney At Law for more info.
Hello, I'm Phillip Kerr and I just love the legal profession and courtroom drama. Have you ever watched judge shows on TV? I know that these shows are not an accurate representation of the courtroom, but there is something you may have noticed. Some individuals come into the courtroom well-dressed, articulate, respectful and with the knowledge and documents necessary to support a case, while others come unprepared, slovenly dressed and appear as if they do not have a care in the world. How you present yourself and the knowledge that you have of the law will have an impact on how you are treated, even if you have legal representation. This blog is designed to assist those who are going to trial in doing just that.