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International custody disputes require special handling

In Arizona, there may be many multi-national couples who have children together. In other words, one of the parents may be a citizen of the United States while another may be a citizen of a foreign country, including countries that are contiguous with the United States. Dual citizenship is also a real possibility.

When the couple is getting along, or even when they have parted ways amicably, this may be an insignificant point. It may even be helpful to a child to get the experience of two countries or cultures.

However, when things go awry in a relationship and co-parenting fails, it is possible that one parent might flee with the child to another country in which he or she has a legal right to stay. If then in violation of a court order or even without express consent, this can rightly be called an international abduction, since both parents should have a right to see and raise their children.

Unfortunately, getting legal help after losing contact with a child due to an international abduction can be hard for a parent. This is because a number of laws, many with federal and even international scope, apply to the situation.

While these laws are ultimately designed to protect the parent-child relationship, they have a number of complexities that may be hard for even the most diligent and well-informed parent to navigate.

For this reason, a Phoenix parent who has been the indirect victim of a parental international abduction, or who is even dealing with a child custody dispute that potentially crosses international borders, should strongly consider getting legal advice from an experienced family law attorney with knowledge of international custody laws.

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