Child custody arrangements can be difficult enough when both parents live in Ballantyne, North Carolina, but when one parent lives out of state or even out of the country, things can become much more complicated.
This was the case when two parents divorced in 2007 in Pennsylvania. The father moved to Texas while the mother, who was awarded primary child custody, relocated to Venezuela. The court ordered that the father have visitation at his home during the summer and winter holidays.
This arrangement worked well until it was time for the child to return home after spending the summer of 2011 with his father. Although the mother was the parent ordered by the court to travel with the child to and from his father’s home, the father would usually accompany his son home to Venezuela. After the summer, the father was unable to make the trip, and since the mother could not obtain a visa on such short notice, the child remained with his father until his mother got one and came to pick him up in November 2011.
During that time, the father obtained default child custody and tried to use the order to stop the mother from picking up the child. The mother sued, citing the International Child Abduction Remedies Act in her suit. The day the lawsuit was due to be heard in court, the father agreed to settle and returned custody to the mother.
If you are or will be living in a different state or country from the other parent of your child, you would be well advised to speak with an attorney experienced in family law. Doing so can help ensure that your interests are properly represented in court.
Source: Courthouse News Service, “Fee Award Upheld After Deal on Child’s Custody,” Kevin Lessmiller, May 5, 2014