As technology continues to advance and society becomes mobile, individuals throughout the world feel more connected than ever before. This globalization means individuals no longer feel tied to one place or even one country. Today it is common for an individual to live in multiple states or countries during his or her life. As such, families have become increasingly international in nature. However, when these international relationships break down, complicated legal issues often arise. Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Maxim Smith helps clients overcome their most complex international and interstate family law challenges and protects clients’ interests worldwide. Allison Maxim is a respected international family law attorney and has authored an article entitled, “International Parental Child Abduction: Essential Principles of the Hague Convention,” and co-authored a portion of the book about international family law.
International Divorce, Child Custody, and Child Support Issues
Many people draw their sense of stability, support and purpose from family. When family units begin to shift, individuals are often left with unparalleled amounts of stress and uncertainty. When international issues are involved, these family law disputes may become even more contentious.
International family disputes have many moving pieces. The laws of the state, federal government, foreign country and international treaties — such as the Hague Convention — must all be read, and interpreted, together. Jurisdictional issues, legal interpretation, cultural differences and language barriers greatly affect how property division, child custody and support decisions are made.
- My ex is from another country and is visiting family with the kids. What if they don’t come home?
- What is the Hague Convention? How does it govern international divorce?
- How do you help your clients navigate an international divorce?
- How are child support and spousal support dealt with in an international divorce?
Allison Maxim is an experienced international family law attorney. Under her guidance, our firm has successfully helped individuals throughout the world resolve their international and interstate divorce issues, as well as child custody issues. We also help clients obtain and enforce international and interstate child support orders and represent parents with international child abduction issues.
Many employers engage in business around the world. It is often necessary for individuals to relocate in order to maintain their employment. When parents relocate to a foreign country, child custody, visitation and support orders must be modified to ensure parent-child bonds are protected.
An international family lawyer is a lawyer who handles any family law cases where there is an international component. For example, one parent could be requesting custody for an international move, or a parent in the U.S. could be petitioning the court to return their child who was taken overseas illegally by the other parent. These are complex cases. Attorneys who focus on international family law are experienced in this area and know they’ll be able to navigate such a case.
International family law is an extremely complex area, and most average Minnesotans have no experience with a case like this until they’re in the middle of one. It can be disheartening to think that some countries are less than cooperative when it comes to international family law. A St. Paul international family law attorney can explain your case and offer next steps while keeping your morale up and your goal in mind.
You want to be sure your international family lawyer has experience with the type of case you’re facing, whether that’s a divorce and/or a custody battle. In addition, any lawyer should exhibit certain qualities: good communication skills, a high level of professionalism, and a drive to achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
There really is no typical case since there are so many variables at play in an international child custody case. If you work with an educated and experienced international child custody attorney, you can expect to remain informed throughout the process. However, there’s no way to predict how things will go without discussing the specifics of your case with a lawyer.
Time is of the essence in an international family law case because a child will eventually be considered to have residency in the country where they’re currently living. The Hague Convention mentions one year as the time frame needed to establish that residency. While you aren’t prohibited from filing for custody after that one year period, it can be harder to convince a court that it’s in your child’s best interest to leave their country of residency to return to your country.
In domestic cases a child’s home state generally has jurisdiction over custody matters, but this may not be true in an international case. Other countries are not required to abide by the laws of the United States, and a foreign court may choose to disregard an existing custody order in the U.S. If the parents of a child do not reside in the same country, and the child routinely resides with both parents, it can be difficult to determine which country should have jurisdiction over a case. Discuss these issues with your attorney to learn more.
International family disputes have many moving pieces. The laws of the state, federal government, foreign country and international treaties — such as the Hague Convention — must all be read, and interpreted, together. Attorneys Allison Maxim and Tara Smith know how to navigate these issues. In fact, Allison is a respected international family law attorney; she has authored an article entitled, “International Parental Child Abduction: Essential Principles of the Hague Convention,” and co-authored a portion of the book about international family law.
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