A serious concern that many parents face while divorcing or even afterwards is finding out that their ex wants to remove the children from Texas and relocate with them to another country.

These situations can become very complex, so you should immediately seek the assistance of child custody attorneys who can protect your rights and help resolve the issue favorably.

Divorce lawyers stress that taking the children out of the U.S. against a parent’s will and not specifically indicated in the current child custody order is against the law and may require the court’s assistance to prevent it until decided during a custody hearing.

Taking Children Out of the Country Without Permission Is Illegal

If you and your spouse have divorced in the U.S., the law requires that any children remain in the state as indicated by the most recent custody hearing.

This is to ensure that a proper custody hearing can first take place to keep any move in the best interest of those children.

Child custody lawyers warn that to leave the country with your children and against the will of your ex-spouse and the prevailing court order is a Federal crime with serious consequences.

Unauthorized Relocations

Even though doing so is illegal, some desperate parents will unfortunately attempt to leave the country with their children before a custody order hearing, especially if they believe that the ruling will be unfavorable to them.

To prevent this from happening, child custody attorneys recommend that parents take precautionary steps at the first sign or mention that this could happen.

Any parent who suspects their ex may try to relocate outside of the United States with their children should immediately work with their divorce lawyer and the legal system to prevent this from happening in the following way:

  • Inform the courts of the situation and that an abduction by the other spouse is possible so that the court can implement travel restrictions to prevent the kids from leaving the country.
  • If the children have their passports with them, surrender them to the court for safekeeping until custody issues have been resolved.
  • Keep close contact with the kids at all times and alert schools, local police, and other relevant parties of the threat of abduction by the other parent.
  • Obtain a temporary restraining order from the court.

International Custody Laws - A Complex Matter

Although the United States and many other countries do work together in these cases to prevent parents from unlawfully crossing international boundaries with children 16 and under, it’s more important to prevent it from happening.

The Hague Convention International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 and other laws allow criminal warrants to be filed when a parent leaves the country with their children; however, dealing with international custody laws can complicate the situation even more.

If your spouse returns to his or her own country with your children, getting them back into the U.S. could be more difficult and will definitely require the involvement of the international divorce court.

Retain Experienced Custody and Divorce Lawyers

No parent wants to think of the possibility that their ex will abduct their children and leave Texas and return to their native country with them.

If you are concerned that your ex might try to do this or already has, contact child custody lawyers who have the experience necessary to help you.

Take precautions to prevent it from happening and keep your children safely in the United State!

Garza & Elizondo, LLP

Downtown Brownsville
Principal Office
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
(956) 202-0067

San Benito
Meetings With Attorneys By Appointment Only
2395 La Palma Street, Suite A
San Benito TX 78586
(956) 202-0067