Florida International Family Law Attorneys

Securing the rights of Florida families when disputes involve other countries

Miami’s location and diverse population make it a hotbed for domestic disputes involving a spouse or co-parent from another country. These matters are often urgent and might not permit the time required for most attorneys to learn the special intricacies of international family law. Florida International family law attorneys at Rafool, PLLC, have the experience and skill to help our clients immediately when divorce and custody battles shift outside the United States.

Litigating to enforce Hague Convention rules against parental abduction

In 1980, the Hague Abduction Convention was established to protect children from wrongful international removal by their parents. Approximately 80 countries, including the United States, are partners in the treaty that resulted. These countries are bound by that treaty to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed from other contracting nations and to respect their fellow states’ parental custody and access laws.  Important features of the convention include the establishment of the following:

  • Primacy of habitual residence — The treaty prioritizes the country where the child primarily resided. If your children have lived in Miami, signatory nations will work to return him here regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
  • Central authority — Each convention country maintains a central authority to locate children who have been brought there unlawfully and to promote a safe, amicable return to their country of habitual residence.
  • Document and legal reciprocity — Sovereign nations are normally not bound to respect the laws and decisions of other countries. Convention nations allow documents to be introduced as evidence without going through the typical process.

If your co-parent has left, or is threatening to leave, the United States with your child to evade a custody ruling, retaining qualified counsel immediately is crucial. Our experienced family law attorneys with Rafool, PLLC, know how to enforce parental rights under the Hague Convention and can get to work at once to have your child returned.

Skilled advice on the complications of international divorce

Generally, Florida courts will recognize divorces granted in other countries as long as they do not contravene the state’s public policy. Courts are suspect of attempts to use more lenient standards from other countries to evade Florida requirements, such as six months of residency. The United States is not party to any international agreement mandating adherence to foreign matrimonial decisions.

Professional representation for foreign relocation and custody matters

When a parent wants to relocate to another country with your child, our experienced lawyers will rigorously represent your parental rights. Even when it is a legal process rather than abduction, courts favor determining these questions in the courts of the children’s residence rather than allowing parents to shop for a forum that might favor them. We will relentlessly defend your rights in Florida and other courts to maintain your rights to continue raising your child where and how you wish.

Experienced assistance in drafting international prenuptial agreements

Certain nations refuse to enforce prenuptial agreements, and many others have specialized rules that must be considered if you are considering marriage to someone from outside the United States. These agreements are particularly important for such couples because no one wants to risk losing their assets on the whims of a foreign judicial system. We can assist with the drafting of documents to adhere to regulations from the country that may affect you.

For assistance with international family law cases, contact our South Florida law firm

Rafool, PLLC, located in Miami, represents clients throughout Florida. Call (305) 567-9400 or contact us online.