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DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC Board certified Family Law Specialist*

Child custody in Arizona complicated by foreign citizen parents

A new law being proposed in another state may be of interest to some readers in Arizona. The child custody proposal, if passed, could affect divorcing parents where one of the parties is a foreign citizen. Such couples are increasingly common in our state and across the nation.

Under the new bill, which has not yet been enacted into law, a parent would not be able to remove a child from the United States if the other country is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The prohibition would not apply in circumstances where the other parent grants permission. This child custody measure is intended to assist parents involved in child custody disagreements where the other parent seeks to remove their children from the United States without permission.

One of the major issues in such child custody matters is the question of having the child returned to our country. When a nation is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, it can be difficult for some in Arizona and elsewhere to bring their child home. When this is the case, child custody matters typically become much more complicated.

In cases where one parent is a citizen of another country, it is most often true that, similar to more traditional child custody matters, both parents seek to do what they believe is best for their child. However, the logistics of child custody across borders can be complicated. When a person finds themselves in such a situation, they may benefit from a complete review of all applicable laws regarding child custody that are applicable to their circumstances as they work to resolve all outstanding custodial and visitation issues.

Source: Midland Daily News, "Moolenaar child custody bill OK'd by Senate, heading to House," Oct. 28, 2012

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