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International custody conflicts

When couples in Arizona divorce or end their relationship, child custody issues are often a concern. If one of the parties has citizenship in another country, the potential for custody complications increases greatly. This is because the parent might attempt to return to his or her country with the child or refuse to send the child back to the United States after a visit.

Parents living in the United States should be aware of the Hague Convention, an international treaty that requires participating countries to respect family court decisions in other countries. If a child is residing in a country that is part of the Hague Convention in violation of a family court decision in another participating country, the parent who has custody rights could have an easier time getting the child back home.

Experts also advise parents who are in the middle of international custody disputes to do whatever they can to maintain contact with their children. This may mean interacting via phone calls, video calls, chat, texting and social media. In some cases, a parent may need to travel and spend an extended amount of time in the country where the child is currently living. This may be necessary due to the time that it takes to resolve a child custody case through the courts.

Parents who are concerned about international child custody issues may benefit from speaking with an experienced family law attorney. The lawyer may review the client's situation and make recommendations regarding custody issues and visitation. If the child has already been taken out of the country, the attorney may be able to initiate the process of bringing the child back home.

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