How To Deal With International Child Custody

Question About International Child Custody Issues

Can a parent try to take custody of children if he is out of the country? My husband was incarcerated for 2.5 years and now is in the process of being deported. He was charged with aggravated assault. I moved myself and my 2 children to Honduras to wait for him under the assumption that we would reunite here and remain married. But in the last 6 months he has become abusive over the phone and I believe he is unstable. I am planing on leaving with my children and returning to Utah and filing for divorce before he gets to Honduras. My question is can he try to take custody of my children from a forgien country. My children and my self are US citizens.

Answer

Because you are dealing with strict timelines, you will need to consult with an attorney and provide the exact dates of your move to Honduras. If you have been away from Utah for more than six months, you may need to reestablish Utah as the home state of the children under the UCCJEA in order for Utah to make a child custody determination. However, whether your husband can file an action in Honduras depends on the laws of Honduras. Under Utah law, the court would look at the history of the parties and your history of taking care of the children as an important part of the custody determination. If you are moving back to Utah you should do so now so these time lines work in your favor. For more information on custody orders, click on the link “Custody Order” below.

Peter ChristensenHow To Deal With International Child Custody