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Child Relocation FAQ

Helping You Make Sense Of Cross-Border Child Relocation

At Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., our experienced family law attorneys can assist you with any questions regarding the interstate and international relocation of children. Whether you suspect that your current or former spouse/partner has taken or is planning to take your child or children to their home state or country, or you are contemplating relocating with your children, our attorneys can assist you in learning about your legal rights and options.

With offices in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom, we are uniquely qualified to efficiently resolve matters related to interstate and international child custody. Our German and English-speaking attorneys and staff can communicate with the authorities and courts when necessary to protect your rights and keep your children safe.

Do I need court approval to move with my child?

Custody and relocation laws differ on a state-by-state basis, but most states set certain thresholds for relocation; if a potential move exceeds those thresholds, it must be approved by a family court. For example, the state of Florida defines relocation as any move that would take a child more than 50 miles from their other parent. A parent who wishes to make such a move with their child must provide a written notice to the other parent. Terms for relocation can also be set in a comprehensive parenting plan if parties can agree. If you are considering relocation, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney to make sure you will not run afoul of any applicable laws or violate the terms of your parenting plan.

Making sure you have a viable plan is a must if you are considering an international relocation. Moving internationally can result in accusations of kidnapping and trigger the involvement of multiple jurisdictions under the Hague Convention.

What is the Hague Convention?

The Hague Convention was established in 1980 to provide a system to protect children and resolve cases involving children who have been kidnapped or taken across international boundaries without the consent of both parents. The Hague Convention provides a process for ensuring children are safely returned after being abducted or taken with a parent to another country. The treaty also ensures that the parental rights of a parent in one country are respected by other countries who are part of the treaty, creating a level playing field for resolving custody and relocation disputes. The intent of the Hague Convention is the same standard that is applied to every child custody situation in the United States: “what is in the best interest of the child?” The Hague Convention, above all else, is in place to protect children. Sometimes what is in the best interest of the child will be at odds with what is desirable or convenient for one or both parents.

Does the Hague Convention include every country?

No, the Hague Convention treaty signers do not include every country across the globe. There are 83 countries that abide by the terms of the Hague Convention, but there are still some significant gaps, most notably Asia where China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan are not parties to the treaty. See the full list of treaty partners.

Can I stop my child’s relocation?

The answer depends largely on the factors at play, including where you are located, where the proposed new location is, your current custody rights, and any previous agreements you have reached with your child’s other parent. If you have received notification of a potential move, it’s important to seek the advice of a family law attorney with considerable experience in child relocation law. With their counsel, you can identify your rights and make an informed decision about how to ensure access to your child.

Put Our Experienced International Custody Lawyers On Your Side

You need an experienced advocate when your relationship with your child or your child’s safety is on the line. We have the skills, experience and resources to achieve the best possible outcome in even the most complex cross-border custody matters. Schedule a consultation today and find out how we can help you.

“This content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.”