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Recourse When Ex-Spouse Want to Live Abroad With Your Child

After divorce, your ex-spouse may want to move to another country for a fresh start. The problem is when he/she want to bring your children. This can be a quite messy child custody issue.

If your ex-spouse already expressed his/her intention to move abroad with the children. What can you do if you are not happy with this?

Blocking and Refusing the Move

This depends if the one blocking and refusing the move is the mother or the father. In most cases, the mother automatically has parental responsibility. The father, on the other hand, acquires parental responsibility depending on various situations.

The father automatically acquires parental responsibility if the father is married to the mother during the birth of the child. Another instance is when the father is recognized in the birth certificate of the child. 

If the father is both not married to the mother and recognized in the birth certificate, he can only obtain parental responsibility once he secures a Parental Responsibility Order along with the mother’s agreement to such from the court.

Why is parental responsibility material in this situation? It’s because the custodial parent’s permission must be obtained. If the moving spouse is really determined, it is only a provisional solution. Despite objections from the staying spouse, the moving spouse can apply to a court to permit the move. This will now be a decision made under the discretion of the judge. During the hearing of this matter, the objecting spouse has to provide the reasons for his objection. In the same vein, the moving spouse will provide the benefits of the move.

Abduction of the Children by the Moving Spouse

There is a possibility that one of the parents will leave with their children abroad without giving notice. It is highly likely that permission will not be obtained. If this is the situation, apply for a prohibition order. It can also be done with the court during the divorce process.

Seek for Legal Advice Immediately

In conclusion, the rights of a parent and their legal options will be dependent on a lot of circumstances. Seeking expert advice from a lawyer at the earliest time possible. Doing so will provide the information the staying parent may need in order to decide intelligently for the sake of ensuring one’s parental rights over the children and protecting the children’s best interests.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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