What to do regarding child visitation with my ex-husband who lives in Europe?

I’m a divorced woman that has a child with a man that lives in Europe. He was highly mentally abusive and occasionally physical. I have great concern over leaving our child alone with him, especially overseas. He likes to control me with child support and has recently cut it in half because he felt our impending 3 week visit to his country was not long enough (he wanted me to bring her for the entire summer). An ongoing concern of mine is international child abduction. I feel he would do this simply to hurt me, not because he wants to raise her.

Asked on September 9, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is a lot going on here, not all of it is clear, and you really need to consult with a family law attorney near you.  It is impossible for me to give you clear advice without knowing more---so here are some general thoughts, but not legal advice.

If you really feel strongly about what is going on, discuss with a local lawyer NOT taking the kids to Europe.  If there is an order, it would force the father to enforce it (note there may be some concern with being held in contempt).

1) Read the Court Order.  What does it say?  It is standard for family law order to include a provision that the children are not to travel outside the US without permission of the custodial parent. Also read the order in regard to costs, it is standard for the receiving parent to pay for all travel costs.

2) I don't understand what is going on with child support.  Is he failing to pay?   Is there an order?  You may also want to talk to the county department of child support services about the child support issue.

3) You should read about and understand the Hague Abduction Convention.  It applies to the following countries: http://travel.state.gov/abduction/resources/congressreport/congressreport_1487.html 

You can read more in general here:http://travel.state.gov/abduction/solutions/hagueconvention/hagueconvention_3854.html

Best of luck.


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