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Washington child custody matters can be contentious in many cases. The complexity of such matters can be increased when one of the parents involved is a citizen of a foreign land. When this happens, already tense negotiations between parents as to who will have primary child custody can become even more emotionally charged when each parent wants to take the child to their respective homelands.

In a new bill that is being proposed in another state, parents who are citizens of a foreign land would be not able to take their child out of our country during a child custody dispute unless that home country is a party to the rules of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Absent that, written permission from each of the parents must be obtained to remove the child from the United States. The Hague Convention requires that whatever lawful child custody arrangement was made just prior to an alleged wrongful removal to another country would take precedence.

Though this particular child custody legislation is being proposed in another state, it may be of interest to many in Washington as well. This is because there are an increasing number of couples that are seeking a divorce that have spouses from different countries. These folks may find that they could wind up facing the same sorts of international issues addressed in the proposed bill.

Child custody can be a difficult issue in many divorces. However, when agreements can be reached between parents, a child custody arrangement may be achieved that is in the best interest of the child. This is what most parents in our state hope to achieve in a divorce.