As a parent, you want to be a part of your child’s life. You want the chance to be there as he or she grows up and have the opportunity to teach him or her through the years. If you have a child with someone who lives in another country, this could bring up custody issues that are more complex than a situation with two parents who both live in California.

Understanding your rights and how the court deals with an international custody issue can be confusing. It may help to learn a few things about the way the law looks at international custody and your role in a hearing.

  1. How the court sees a foreign country

According to California Legislative Information, the court treats a foreign country as a state. So, the court will handle your child’s custody the same way it would if he or she was in Ohio, instead of the foreign country. This means that the court will honor and recognize any decisions a foreign court makes in regards to custody as long as those decisions conform to California’s rules on child custody matters.

  1. You have rights

You have the right to participate in all hearings regarding your child, visitation, custody and related matters. You also have the right to provide facts and give legal arguments for your case. Just because the case involves a foreign country does not remove your rights.

  1. The other parent has responsibilities

If you have a court hearing in the U.S., you can require that the other parent’s physical presence if he or she has physical custody of your child. Do note that the parent may not bring your child with him or her because that is not part of this requirement.

Dealing with an international custody issue is not always easy. However, you have options available to you to ensure everything is fair.