Posted on Apr 06, 2010
The world is growing smaller in a number of ways – and unfortunately that means that divorce is getting more complicated for those who live internationally or travel extensively. In fact, a number of country are recognizing that child custody battles involving parents located in different countries or continents present big problems when it comes to making the best choices for the children involved.

To help address the problem of international family relocation, more than 50 judges from around the world gathered to discuss the legal challenge that takes place when thousands of miles impede attempts at joint custody and visitation rights. The result of the meeting was the "Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation,” a document that outlines 13 different recommendations for the judges to bring to their home countries.

The meeting was coordinated in part by International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, who said that international moves that take place after divorce are becoming more common each day – and that the moves often cause heartache and loss for both the parents and children. The judges hoped that the conference would help to standardize the process of how these cases are examined and decided.

The 13 points regarding international family are general, but lay a sensible framework that judges can work with when confronted with these situations. For example, the declaration puts forth that the best interests of the child should always be the primary consideration and that reasonable notice should be given to the parents left behind in the move. In addition, as with any relocation agreement, the judge should consider the child’s age, reasons for relocation, current custody agreement, employment, and history of family abuse.
Molly B. Kenny
Connect with me
Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington