child with suitcaseThis is the next post in my series discussing how the particulars of international divorce can have an impact on child custody decisions in Las Vegas. My last post addressed how a family law Judge handles a situation if one parent with dual citizenship chooses to move back to their own country. In this post I will provide more detail about how a parent may request permission from the Court to relocate a child to a foreign country. If you require assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

A Las Vegas parent may request a relocation if the move is in the best interest of the child

At its core, requesting permission to relocate to a foreign country is not unlike requesting to relocate a child to an alternative state. A parent must meet the same criteria as any other relocation; the move must be in the child’s best interest and it is the requesting parent’s burden to prove the standard. In many cases the parent has dual citizenship and relocated from a foreign country to the United States for the sake of the marriage. Dual citizenship, however, is not always the case or necessary to make a request. Whether the parent has citizenship in another country, or is moving for a job, if they can make a reasonable case for their request then a Clark County Family Court Judge will likely consider granting permission.

There are a number of factors that will go into a Judge’s decision to grant an international relocation. The first is if the parent can provide a concrete reason for the move. Common reasons are if a parent left a high paying job to relocate for the sake of the marriage and have the opportunity to make a better income in their home country. Another reason is that the foreign born spouse has little family or support in the United States and wishes to return home to be closer to their support system. A third common reason is if the Las Vegas parent is relocated to another country for work purposes and wishes the child to come with them. Once a parent can prove that they have a legitimate reason for leaving the country then their next order of business is to explain why the child should come with them.

Southern Nevada parents moving out of the United States must directly address a Judge’s concerns about the child’s well-being

A Clark County Family Court Judge will be particularly concerned with a child’s ability to adapt to a new country and the child’s ability to stay in contact with the other parent. Factors a Judge will consider is the age of the child, the amount of time the child has spent in the country in question, if the child speaks the language or the child’s ability to learn a new language, and the child’s connection with his current school and friends. A parent must directly address the child’s educational opportunities abroad, living conditions, and other extracurricular interests the child may be exposed to. The parent must also be able to provide a solid plan for keeping the other parent involved in the child’s life. Many Judges will require the relocating parent to pay a large portion of the other parent’s travel expenses so that the US residing parent can maintain a quality relationship with the child. Finally, a parent must be able prove that they will comply with the Court’s plan and will not attempt to thwart the other parent’s relationship with the child once they are out of the country.

If you are moving outside of the United States and will be seeking permission to bring your child then it is important to contact an attorney with experience in international child custody law. Contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas child custody lawyer.