International/Cross-Border Custody Issues

With an international border just a few hours south of Vancouver, international travel and the globalization of our society in general make international custody concerns more prevalent than ever before. Furthermore, the multicultural makeup of Vancouver's population means that more and more families with mixed backgrounds may struggle with this unique area of family law.

At Westside Family Law, we have lawyers with significant experience in international and cross-border custody matters. We are familiar with provincial, federal and international laws that govern child custody. Not every family law firm has the experience or resources to handle cross-border custody disputes. Westside Family Law does, and we will put your needs and the needs of your children first, every time.

Moving Or Travelling Abroad With Your Children

Single parents who wish to take their kids overseas must obey the terms of their existing parenting agreement. Many such agreements contain clauses about splitting vacation time between the parents. In many cases, if you wish to take your kids abroad for a holiday, it's simply a matter of notifying your ex and perhaps renegotiating your holiday time informally. As long as you are within your agreed-upon terms, you should be able to take your children on that international vacation with no problem.

Problems occur when parents wish to move permanently abroad or take the children without notifying the other parent of their intent to do so. According to British Columbia's family laws, parents must give their children's other parent or guardian 60 days' notice of their intent to relocate. This statute applies regardless of where the parent is moving to. Parents can then use this time frame to renegotiate the terms of the parenting agreement.

The Standard For Overseas Moves

Keep in mind that the Court will always rule in favour of agreements that protect the children's best interests. In some cases, that could mean granting an overseas move if the parent is moving for a more lucrative job or to be closer to family members who can provide material and emotional support for the children.

If Your Child Was Taken Without Your Consent

If you know that your child's other parent wishes to relocate overseas or fear that your child has been taken overseas unlawfully, contact us right away for experienced help. International child abduction is an unfortunate reality within our global society. In most international abduction cases, a child is taken abroad by someone he or she trusts, usually a parent or guardian.

If your child was taken overseas by his or her other parent, our firm can take immediate action to help you recover the child. If the country is party to the Hague Convention, we can represent your interests (and your child's) under that treaty. If it is not, we can still assist you in pursuing a resolution under that country's custody laws by working together with foreign counsel.

We will exhaust all reasonable possibilities, offering candid, supportive counsel throughout to help you make informed decisions.

Talk With Us About Your International Custody Concerns

We want what's best for your children, the same as you do. To discuss the specifics of your case, call us at 604-800-8853 or email us with your questions. We will help you find the appropriate solution given your unique concerns.