Berman & Asbel, LLP

International child custody dispute gains wide-spread attention

When an adult, including those in Pennsylvania, makes the decision to move to a different area to live, there can be a number of reasons why. If that adult is a parent, then his or her family typically moves with them. However, this is not always the case. If two parents are divorced, complications can arise as to how child custody arrangements will need to be modified if one parent decides to move. If this move involves living in a completely different country, disputes between parents can become tied up in international legalities.

A mother and father are currently facing an international custody battle as the mother filed for divorce and custody in the United States and her children and their father live in a different country. The mother had initially lived in the other country with the father and children, but when the mother decided to leave, she went back to the United States and took the children with her. The father filed kidnapping charges against the mother, and the children were sent back to live with their father.

The father claims that they were happily living their lives until the children's mother showed up recently. The mother states that she has visited the country several times over the past couple of years to see her children and that their father makes visits very difficult. She filed for divorce and child custody in the United States and was reportedly awarded both, though the father does not understand how this could be. The mother is now in the country where her children live in order to fight for custody.

Child custody battles do not have to be international or escalate to involving kidnapping charges to be complicated endeavors to sort through. Being informed and prepared when it comes to child custody laws can greatly lessen the stress for anyone who may be in a child custody dispute. As laws can vary greatly by region, having information on Pennsylvania child custody laws could benefit residents in a custody dispute or those looking to begin a discussion on custody arrangements.

Source: USA Today, "Cyprus dad questions ex-wife's motive in push for kids," Dan McFeely, July 12, 2013

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