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Protecting Parental Relationships Across State And International Borders

When one parent decides to move to another state or another country, child custody issues become increasingly more complex, not to mention more emotionally difficult. Such moves may happen either before, during or after a divorce or custody proceeding. If you find yourself in this situation, you need a strong legal advocate who understands the process.

The attorneys at Wolinetz | Horvath | Brown have over 75 years of combined legal experience. They know how complicated Ohio custody laws can be and how to successfully fight for your parental rights. Moving a child out of Ohio and away from their other parent will require the moving parent to show that the move is in the best interest of the child.

What Happens When A Parent Moves Out Of State?

Ohio is one of 48 states that have signed onto the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The UCCJEA helps to create consistency among states and countries when it comes to enforcing child custody orders. The major points of the act control:

  • Giving jurisdiction over the custody case to the child’s original home state
  • Courts agree to enforce custody and visitation orders issued in other states

If an Ohio court issued your child’s original custody order, it will likely still be valid in another state. That does not mean a parent can just pick up and move, however, even if the parent planning to move is the custodial parent.

In most cases, Ohio law requires a parent planning to relocate with a child to notify the court and the other parent of the planned move, giving the other parent a chance to respond. If the other parent objects to the move, the court may need to decide whether the move is in the best interest of the child. The court will review several factors to make this decision. Having a skilled and experienced custody lawyer on your side can make a world of difference.

International Custody Issues

Even more complicated than moving to another state is moving to another country. The UCCJEA is recognized by many countries around the world, in addition to states within the U.S. Those countries agree to give the same kind of deference to custody orders that are described above regarding states.

In addition, the Hague Convention is an international convention meant to combat bringing children across international borders without proper authority. The Hague Convention allows for a speedy return of abducted children and also allows for lawful visitation between countries.

When it comes to international custody issues, jurisdiction often becomes an area of contention. In other words, which country’s court should control the custody decisions regarding the child? Under the UCCJEA, the home state of the child is anywhere the child has lived consistently for the past six months. Lacking an obvious home state, the court can determine another appropriate jurisdiction.

Find Out How We Can Help

Whether you are looking to move with your child or keep your child in Ohio, our experienced attorneys are ready to help you preserve your parental rights. Discuss the matter with us by calling 614-362-8847 or reaching out online. We have offices in both Columbus and Westerville.