Child Custody Tips For Parents Moving Overseas. What You Need To Know.

If you have a child with a partner that you are now separated from, then your ability to move overseas is severely strained by the legal requirements associated with the Hague Convention, International Law, as well as the new laws regarding child travel to and from South Africa. Here are a few tips for separated parents that plan to move overseas with their children and how to navigate child custody matters in your situation:

Limits To Child Custody International Relocation 

It is important to keep in mind that if you travel overseas with a partner, then there will be restrictions regarding your movement out of the country with your child (whether brought to the country with your partner or born on foreign soil). In countries that are party to the Hague Convention, permission from both parents is required to move with your child elsewhere. This may even be the case if there was a written agreement before the move took place regarding the movement of children in the event of a breakup.

Father’s Domicile 

The domicile of the child’s father at the time of marriage is an important factor regarding the relocation of a child after a divorce. The Hague Convention upholds the right that the laws inferred at the time of divorce are those in which the father/husband was domiciled at the time when the marriage contract was signed, even if the contract was signed in a different country. This may have far-reaching consequences for children and their relocation. For instance, the power of the prenuptial agreement is limited in the UK, and the courts in the country do not necessarily have to enforce the decisions made in the agreement.


When moving overseas, even with a foreign partner that you love dearly, make sure that you keep a permanent residence in South Africa in the event that you feel you need to move back to the country with your children. When appealing to a foreign court to be able to move back to the country, proving that you have a permanent domicile will greatly improve your chances of relocating. This may be tricky regarding expenses, but co-owning a home with close family members (like your parents) can help you in this case.

Consult a Child Custody Relocation Professional

This is the most important tip! Do not, under any circumstance, attempt to leave a foreign country with your children in tow. You are likely to be found guilty in a foreign court of child abduction according to the Hague Convention international laws. Consult with a legal professional and child custody attorney whether in the country of residence or your domicile country. Don’t be found guilty of a crime when you actually have the best interests of your children at heart.

For more information regarding child custody in South Africa, why not contact Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys. Make us your first choice regarding all cases of child custody in South Africa. Simply fill out the inquiry form on the contact us page, and we will get back to you.