International Family Law
It is a big world…
We help families across borders: relocation cases, custody disputes involving dual citizenship, prior custody orders, modifications, enforcement, abduction prevention, and the return of children to their home country, and international adoptions.
If you are booking an initial consultation for a case with international or inter-state dimensions, please let us know when requesting a consultation.
There are two aspects to cases involving different states or countries. The best interests of the child are still paramount, but challenges can arise in either the pre-decree or post-divorce arenas. Additionally, enforcing orders from other states or countries can pose problems.
Dylla Family Law can speak to you fluently in several languages and we have successfully navigated all of these situations. If you are pre-decree, one of the most important choices is determining which jurisdiction will handle the parenting and support issues. Post-decree obstacles include matters of filing foreign or out-of-state decrees, enforcement, modifications, parental relocations and the possibilities of child abduction.
Looking more closely at some of these issues, child abuse or neglect is one of the most serious and one that presents myriad challenges. If abuse or neglect of a child in another state or country is suspected, it is important to protect the child quickly. In Colorado, an emergency allocation of parental responsibility can be filed so that Colorado can take jurisdiction—even if only temporarily—and act with interim steps to protect the child.
Equally horrific is parental abduction. If you are lucky enough to have orders from a country that has adopted the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, action can be taken quickly, but the courts in that country may determine how long a return process actually takes. Other countries require parents to open a case in their jurisdiction. We will act quickly to gain the cooperation of all local law enforcement and passport agencies, including working to issue AMBER alerts and working with officials of other countries as needed.
Less dire, but nonetheless highly stressful, are relocations. The first step is to ascertain whether or not the countries involved are parties to the Hague Convention and willing to enforce Colorado state court decisions.