Division I: Parenting Plan Must Be Registered With Australian Court to Ensure Compliance
Sometimes a court simply does Cleanup work. That is when the underlying court gets most of it right, but misses a couple of dotted i’s or crossed t’s. Here, this case involves moving some children to Australia. Here, an exec met an Aussie and decided to get involved. Needless to say, current husband was then asked to move out. They agreed on a parenting plan, got divorced, and Mom exec became betrothed to the Aussie and pregnant with his child. She then moved the Court to allow her to relocate to Australia.
So what allows this? The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The Court keeps jurisdiction over parenting plans it creates until everyone has moved out of the state (child, parents, and anyone acting as a parent). But what about Australia? Well, they signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. What does that do? It essentially forces Australia to recognize Washington Custody Laws. There’s a presumption that relocation benefits the kids, which can be rebutted. It wasn’t here.
The Court of Appeals then went on to show the evidence that supported all of the lower court’s findings. The clean up here was a little matter of enforcing a provision that if the parenting plan wasn’t adhered to by Mom, that the kids come back to the U.S. Under the Hague, return of the children isn’t mandatory. However, under Australian law, if the parents register their parenting plan with the Australian government, the courts there will abide.