Blog

International Child Custody Disputes

Daniel Noffsinger - Monday, February 29, 2016

At the heart of international child custody disputes is the issue of relocation. As people are more mobile, when relationships fall apart, relocation may be necessary to accommodate a new job or family. Oftentimes, either at the time of separation or after divorce, a lawyer hears from prospective clients that a parent wants to move to another country, that a parent has already moved with the child and the other parent wants the child back, or that a parent doesn’t trust another country’s courts for the determination of custody issues. The parent that relocates without permission from the other parent or by court order may be accused of parental abduction or kidnapping and may lose parental rights or be subject to supervised visitation with his or her child.

There are substantive laws on relocation that differ in each U.S. state. Parental kidnapping and international parental kidnapping statutes come into play when there is an international child custody dispute. Also, there is procedural law in the appropriate forum or jurisdiction to decide the dispute.

When a custody dispute arises, courts seek to keep the playing field level by discouraging forum shopping and relitigation - neither parent can gain a legal or practical advantage by taking a child to a new state or country. The state or country where the child has been living is the state or country that should determine relocation or custody issues.

The Law in Colorado

In general, Colorado courts have jurisdiction over children who reside within the state to determine child custody, relocation, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support matters. Within the United States, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) also places jurisdiction in the child’s home state or state where the child resides for the determination of child custody, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support issues. To protect children from abduction across state lines, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), addresses the wrongful removal of a child across state lines. These three bodies of law – Colorado state law, the UCCJEA, and the PKPA - are only enforceable within the United States and substantively resolve the disputes between the parents.

In general, Colorado courts have jurisdiction over children who reside within the state to determine child custody, relocation, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support matters. Within the United States, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) also places jurisdiction in the child’s home state or state where the child resides for the determination of child custody, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child support issues. To protect children from abduction across state lines, the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA), addresses the wrongful removal of a child across state lines. These three bodies of law – Colorado state law, the UCCJEA, and the PKPA - are only enforceable within the United States and substantively resolve the disputes between the parents.

Contact a Colorado Springs International Child Custody Dispute Attorney

For parents or family members that need help with an international parental kidnapping case, they should seek assistance from law enforcement authorities or an international child custody lawyer who has experience with both domestic and international family law. A Colorado Springs family law attorney at Noffsinger Law can help you understand your legal rights during custody dispute proceedings and protect your parental rights. Noffsinger Law provides legal services in a variety of family law matters, including paternity disputes, parental rights, adoptions and divorces.

Contact a Colorado Springs international child custody dispute attorney today for a free initial consultation. Call us at 719.368.3688or visit our office at 545 East Pikes Peak Avenue, Suite 205 in Colorado Springs.