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Orange County child custody attorneys; The Maggio Law Firm

How To Get Child Custody From A Spouse Who Moved Outside the U.S.

Deciding to get a divorce is one of the hardest decisions that a person can take. Yet, this decision is just the start of a number of issues that you have to deal with. One of which is that of child support. Getting child support from a spouse in a divorce is hard even if the spouse lives in the U.S. with some spouse having to make use of the courts to ensure their support agreements are followed. What happens if one of the spouses who is ordered to pay the child custody is outside the United States?

This blog will take a look at how you can get child custody from a spouse that is outside of the U.S.

Foreign Reciprocating Countries

It is not necessary that the importance that the U.S. pays to child support payments is reciprocated in other countries. However, there are some countries with which the U.S. has pre-existing agreements with to get child support from the spouse living in their country. Currently the U.S. has such agreements with 26 foreign countries.

An international divorce and/or custody case where one of the spouses/parents is outside of the country will usually require the filing of a child support order with the local child support office. Once this has been done, that country will assign an agency to deal with the issue, contact the spouse in their country and to make them comply with the issue.

State Agreements

The above scenario is one where the federal government has an agreement with the other government. This can also be done down at the state levels. For example, if the State of California has an agreement  with another country, the courts can then order the state to make use of that agreement to make the spouse in the other country comply with the order.


There are a number of countries around the world that are a party to a number of child custody treaties. One of the most important treaties for the protection of a child is the International Hague Convention treaty. Countries that are signatories of this treaty for example follow the uniform international child abduction and custody laws and ensure that even if a spouse is not in the U.S. he or she should be made to pay the expenses of their child.

State Employers

The fact that the U.S. is the hub of most business around the world is an encouraging fact as far as child support case is concerned. If you are able to get the child support order in your favor in your divorce case and the company in which your spouse works has an office in the U.S. then you can move the court to start a wage garnishment service against the other spouse. What this would do is that the company of the spouse will deduct the child support amount from his salary monthly and transfer it on their own in your bank account.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

divorce_attorneyGerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.



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