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International Child Custody: Tips for Parents

Most of us dream of settling down and having children one day. There are even scientific reasons behind the surge in happiness you feel when you hold your baby. Unfortunately, there may come a time when you and your spouse separate and battle over child custody. While this process is difficult enough on its own, it can become even more complicated when dealing with international custody laws. We’ve developed a brief guide full of tips on how to navigate international child custody agreements. Let’s examine the most important information to keep in mind.

Understand the Hague Convention

This is an international agreement designed to safeguard child custody between countries. The treaty declares that child custody jurisdiction will return to the country in which the child habitually resides.

In many US-based cases, attorneys use the Hague Convention to return children to the United States. This facilitates proper hearings that can help you obtain child custody. Keep this in mind when moving forward so you can overcome obstacles that would’ve otherwise held you back.

It’s particularly useful when one parent unlawfully transports a child to a different country. For example, let’s assume your former spouse is from Brazil and the two of you lived in the US while you were married.

After your divorce, they take your daughter to Brazil without your knowledge. The Hague Convention will be invaluable in child abduction scenarios like these.

Other Countries May Dispute U.S. Orders

Parents often find themselves in situations where the foreign courts they’re dealing with don’t respect US court orders. This can substantially increase how long it takes to resolve custody issues.

While it’s expensive to do so, it’s recommended to work with attorneys in both countries.

The international attorney can help ensure you navigate foreign custody laws. They’ll also help you properly leverage the Hague Convention for your case.

Act Quickly

It’s essential to act fast when pursuing international child custody. The sooner you hire an attorney, the easier it will be to sway the odds in your favor. Even if you’ve waited longer than you should have, it’s still in your best interest to take action.

Don’t hesitate once you realize it’s time to pursue custody of your children.

Keep Your Children in the Desired Country

You’ll have a much better chance of success when you keep your children in the country you want them to live in. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Many people encounter issues when their children split their time between multiple countries.

Using the aforementioned example, let’s assume your children would have better opportunities in the United States. However, they split their time between Brazil and the US. Your spouse could argue your children should live in South America instead.

Once you begin pursuing international custody agreements, it’s essential to do everything you can to keep your children in the ideal location.

Consider Contacting a U.S. Embassy

In some situations, contacting a U.S. embassy can help guide you through the international child custody process. An embassy representative might be able to refer you to an attorney who can help you with your case. They could also know how to deal with your particular situation.

For instance, let’s assume your former spouse is in their home country and refuses to cooperate with you during your case. The embassy may have received many questions about these scenarios in the past, allowing them to point you in the right direction.

Compare Custody Laws

Many people overlook how useful it can be to compare custody laws between two countries. Some countries might have laws that favor people in your situation. This is an especially useful endeavor if your child has dual citizenship in both countries.

Your attorneys will help you determine if you have leverage you can take advantage of. Once you weigh your options, you’ll be one step closer to achieving the desired outcome.

Work With the Right Lawyer

Hiring the right attorney is essential for getting the best results. Otherwise, you won’t be able to secure custody of your children. The good news is that finding a reputable lawyer is easier than it seems.


Researching online goes a long way toward narrowing down your potential options. See what other people have to say about the level of service they received.

Were they satisfied with their results? Did they encounter issues the lawyer wasn’t able to help them resolve? The answers to questions like these will help you make the right choice.


The attorney should also have a large amount of experience in handling cases like yours. The more nuances of your situation they understand, the better.

You’re essentially rolling the dice if you work with someone inexperienced.

Are they enthusiastic about helping you with your needs? If they don’t ask plenty of questions about your situation, there’s a good chance they won’t give your case their full attention.


Pricing is another factor to keep in mind. You typically get what you pay for when working with lawyers, so it’s best to avoid hiring the cheapest attorneys. It’s recommended to stay away from the most expensive options, as well.

There’s a point of diminishing returns regarding what you spend, and budgeting more won’t always get you better results. Somewhere in the middle of the price range is often the best decision, as you can meet your needs without stretching your budget.


How often can you expect to hear from them? If they aren’t easy to get in touch with, you could have trouble overcoming issues that you encounter. In many cases, it will be impossible to do so.

Understand International Child Custody

The information in this guide will help you understand international child custody and make the best decision for your situation. You can also avoid many complications you would’ve otherwise encountered. Just be sure to find a reputable attorney.

Boyer Law Firm prides itself on learning everything we can about our clients’ needs so we can provide outstanding service. We strive to achieve fast results without sacrificing quality. You’ll learn more about the many benefits we can offer when you schedule a consultation today.

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