Wife a Citizen of Foreign Country: Can She Leave Country with Our Child?

Question:elisabeth flemming attorney nevada

My wife is originally from Canada but moved to the U.S. to live with me.

Currently, we are married with one small child, but we will probably be getting divorced soon.

If she leave the country and goes back to live in Canada, is she allowed to take our child with her?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state, I can give some general guidance on this issue.

In short, she will not be able to legally relocate outside the state with your child, or outside of the country for that matter, after you are divorced without your express permission or the permission of the court.

In the state where I practice, our custody orders contain language from the Hague Convention of October 25, 1980, adopted by the 14th Session of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

This applies to situations where a parent abducts or wrongfully retains a child in a foreign country.  Additionally, there are statutory protections where I practice that state the court order  shall include that the United States is the country of habitual residence of the child for the purposes of applying the terms of the Hague Convention.

Furthermore, upon request by one of the parties, the court may order the other parent to post a bond if the court determines that the parent poses an imminent risk of wrongfully removing or concealing the child outside the country of habitual residence.

The bond must be in an amount determined by the court and may be used only to pay for the cost of locating the child and returning him or her to the habitual residence if the child is wrongfully removed from or concealed outside the country of habitual residence.

It should be noted that the fact that a parent has significant commitments in a foreign country does not create a presumption that the parent poses an imminent risk of wrongfully removing or concealing the child.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Nevada divorce lawyer Elisabeth Flemmingcontact Cordell & Cordell. 

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