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International Child Custody

Attorney Providing Guidance to Clients in West Palm Beach and Surrounding Areas

Child custody matters can be difficult and emotionally challenging. When custody issues cross international borders, however, they may become further complicated. International child custody disputes involve considerations beyond Florida and domestic laws, and often require knowledge of foreign law and international treaties. If you have an international child custody issue, you can retain a West Palm Beach child custody lawyer who understands the complex laws governing these cases. Attorney Jessica Mishali can provide advice and legal representation in all family law and custody matters. She has the experience to protect your interests in an international child custody dispute and advocate for an outcome that suits your needs.

International Child Custody Issues

Florida has a diverse population, with a number of duel citizens and people of many nationalities who live and work in the state. Many of these individuals have strong ties to their home country and maintain relationships with family members living there. As a result, many child custody and family law cases involve parents or children who reside outside of the United States, or who have different citizenship and/or immigration status. These issues may include initial custody determinations, modification of child custody orders, international relocation with or without the child, and emergency custody determinations.

Florida has enacted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to determine interstate and international jurisdictional issues in child custody and visitation cases. The UCCJEA contains provisions as to when Florida courts must defer to the jurisdiction of an international court in a child custody case, and when the custody determination of another country would be entitled to enforcement in Florida. In general, international child custody disputes should be handled in the country where the child habitually resides.

In cases subject to the jurisdiction of Florida courts, child custody arrangements and time-sharing schedules are provided in the parties’ parenting plan. The parenting plan must settle all jurisdictional matters, including interstate and international jurisdiction, before it is approved and entered by the court. The parenting plan can be an important tool to address international child custody arrangements and visitation as needed. After a parenting plan has been entered, modification by another country or state is only allowed in certain circumstances. A lawyer can advise you of the available options in your case.

International Enforcement of Child Custody

International child custody issues may arise in situations when one parent decides to leave the United States with the child over the other parent’s objection, refuses to return the child to the United States, or violates a parenting plan while abroad with the child. If a child has been wrongfully removed to another country, the UCCJEA specifically provides for the enforcement of Hague Convention. The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty that deals with the wrongful removal and retention of children abroad. The treaty authorizes public officials of the member nations to locate and secure the return of a child to his or her country of habitual residence. It applies only to the approximately 100 other nations that are a party to the treaty, but can be effective to enforce child custody orders internationally and facilitate visitation across international borders.

Contact an Attorney in West Palm Beach

A lawyer may be crucial to protect your interests in an international child custody case. Jessica Mishali is an attorney with the skill and resources to resolve any family law issue, including interstate and international child custody matters. She handles divorce and family law cases throughout Palm Beach, Broward, and Martin Counties, particularly West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Royal Palm Beach, Hobe Sound, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Pembroke Pines, Jensen Beach, Pompano Beach, Stuart, Davie, Coral Springs, Palm City, Jupiter, Plantation, Wellington, Indiantown, Boynton Beach, and Delray Beach. To request a consultation regarding child support or a custody dispute, call the Law Offices of Jessica Mishali, P.A. at (561) 833-2772 or contact us online.

Client Reviews

Mishali is a great lawyer I counted on her with my liberty at stake so she fought for me & pulled through. She will contact you before court dates to make sure you appear, Always be on time, And has a terrific personality. I would highly recommend this lawyer, If I was able to rate her 10 stars I...


Jessica is so great at what she does. She is very dedicated and efficient. I don't know what I would've done with her. I highly recommend her for any service needed.


I hired Jessica Mishali to represent me. She did a phenomenal job for me. She is very talented and creative and goes above and beyond for me and I'm very confident she will do for all her future clients. She delivers results!!


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