Excellence In Divorce And Tax-Related Matters

A Devoted Family Law Firm That Helps Clients Through Complex International And Interstate Custody Disputes

Child custody cases are already difficult and emotional for parents and their children. When custody battles cross international or state borders, jurisdictional and conflict of laws issues can further complicate the case.

If you have an international or interstate child custody issue, you need a lawyer who understands how to manage the complex and often conflicting laws of multiple jurisdictions. I am attorney George Lambeth Metcalfe. With over 30 years of experience practicing family law in Vero Beach, I provide sound advice and legal representation that protects your best interests and advocates for your child.

Balancing The Laws Of Multiple Jurisdictions To Unite Your Family

Florida has a diverse population, with many dual citizens and people of all nationalities living and working in the state. As a result, many Florida child custody or family law cases involve parents and children who reside outside of the United States or outside of Florida or have different immigration statuses.

Citizenship or immigration status may impact custody decisions, child custody modification, emergency custody and international relocation. Florida recognizes the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) in response to these issues. The UCCJEA provides guidance as to when Florida courts must defer to the jurisdiction of an international court and when the custody decision from another country or state should be enforced. Generally, courts should handle custody disputes in the country where the child resides.

Other international child custody issues may arise when one parent decides to leave the U.S. with the child, refuses to return the child to the United States or violates a parenting plan while abroad. If a guardian wrongfully removes a child to another country, the Hague Convention treaty rules may come into play. The treaty may authorize the location and return of a child to their home country in these cases.

As an experienced international child custody lawyer, I can represent and protect your interests if you face an international or interstate child custody issue. I also understand the nuances of international custody law, including the comity that Florida courts recognize when other countries provide international grandparents with visitation rights.

Finding Creative Solutions To Complex Child Custody Problems

Child custody cases are complex on their own without balancing the laws of different countries and jurisdictions. If you have an international or interstate child custody dispute or need help developing a parenting plan, contact George Lambeth Metcalfe, P.A., today. I have offices in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce for your convenience. Call me at 786-744-4954 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.