Any international child custody dispute can be incredibly traumatic and terrifying for both parents and children. Most of the time (when parents live in separate countries), the results of such a dispute are almost always psychologically taxing for at least one of the individuals involved. Who gets custody of the child, and what freedoms the parents enjoy in relation to relocating and having their children visit them internationally, is outlined in the Hague Convention and the International Child Abduction laws. However, for those cases that involve China and the few additional states who are not party to the Hague Convention, international child custody disputes can be terrifyingly difficult affairs.
For those countries that have not signed the Hague Convention treaty, there is little that a parent can do to prevent a child from being taken to and removed from said country. As it stands, a parent from an outside country has no legal right to remove their own child from China if the child is living with a parent of Chinese nationality. According to the Hague Convention, which outlined the typical case of international child abduction by a parent, a child cannot be removed from the country of his/her habitual residence without approval from both parents.
Child Custody in China
The underlying problem regarding child custody in China (and other countries not party to Hague Convention treaties) revolves around the difference of their child custody laws when compared to other states. In China, negotiation is deemed an important factor in conflict mediation, and for this reason, the state usually facilitates in matters that are otherwise considered informal agreements.
During cases of international child custody, as well as international child abductions involving China (or other countries not associated with the Hague Convention), it is important that parents consider the nationality of the child. For example, if the child is of Chinese nationality, both parents will be required to solve their custody dispute with local Chinese courts. If the child is of non-Chinese nationality, then the child custody dispute must be settled in his country of ‘habitual residence’.
Please consider the laws of those countries of which your spouse is a foreign national before having children. It is the parents’ responsibility to understand the implications of certain laws with regards to issues involving international child custody disputes.
For more information on international child custody as well as the Hague Convention, make sure you keep checking on the Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys articles page.
If you require a lawyer that specialises in matters of international child custody, then contact Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys as soon as possible.