Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law

My Ex Kidnapped our Child: What to Do Next with Brian Walters | Episode 151

April 28, 2023 Ryan Kalamaya & Amy Goscha
Divorce at Altitude: A Podcast on Colorado Family Law
My Ex Kidnapped our Child: What to Do Next with Brian Walters | Episode 151
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, Brian Walters joins us to discuss what actions should be taken in the event in which an ex-spouse takes their child to another state or country and refuses to bring them back. If you are a parent, this is one of the most frightening scenarios you could find yourself in, so it is very beneficial to be equipped with knowledge about what you can do.

Brian is a partner in Texas’ largest law firm, Walters Gilbreath PLLC, and also runs his own podcast on Texas family law called For Better, Worse, or Divorce Podcast.  Today he talks about some of the kidnapping cases that he has personally dealt with. After listening to this episode you will have a good understanding of when and how to take legal action as well as some of the ways in which you can prevent this kind of thing from happening in the first place. 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Laws relating to kidnapping. 
  • The importance of taking immediate action if your ex-spouse kidnaps your child.
  • Various different routes that can be taken if your ex-spouse is refusing to bring your child back to your state. 
  • How police deal with this type of kidnapping situation. 
  • The process of registering a parenting plan in another state. 
  • How to go about modifying a parenting plan. 
  • What the most important factor in a case like this is.
  • The limitations of the Child Abduction Prevention Act. 
  • Brian’s experience with international abduction cases. 

What is Divorce at Altitude?

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado. Ryan and Amy are the founding partners of an innovative and ambitious law firm, Kalamaya | Goscha, that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries, and criminal defense in Colorado.

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha's YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here. If you have additional questions or would like to speak to one of our attorneys, give us a call at 970-429-5784 or email us at info@kalamaya.law.



Ryan Kalamaya (3s):
Hey Everyone. I'm Ryan Kalamaya

Amy Goscha (6s):
And. I'm Amy Goscha

Ryan Kalamaya (8s):
Welcome to the Divorce at Altitude. A Podcast on Colorado. Family Law.

Amy Goscha (13s):
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me I. know Besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I'm also a Divorce client.

Ryan Kalamaya (20s):
Whether You are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney. listen in for weekly tips and insight into topics related to Divorce co-parenting and Separation in Colorado. Welcome Back to another episode of Divorce Altitude. This is Ryan Kalamaya. This week we're gonna be talking about what happens when children and parents move around from state by state and also internationally. And one of the biggest fears of parents, whether they're in a Divorce or after his kidnapping and Abduction. And so we're gonna be talking with a guest, Brian Walters, he's the managing partner of his firm.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 7s):
He'll tell you more about his firm in Texas and he's got his own international background cuz Brian was a military brat growing up. We've actually had Brian on the podcast before in talking about the U C C J E A and that's the Uniform Child Custody Enforcement Jurisdiction Act and somewhat related topics. But before I go on, Brian, welcome to the show. Thanks

Brian Walters (1m 33s):
Ryan. Thanks for having me back on. I, I appreciate it.

Ryan Kalamaya (1m 37s):
Yeah. Well, looking forward to the conversation. For those that haven't listened to that other episode on, you know, state by state jurisdictional issues on child Custody, can you tell us our Listeners a little bit more about you and your firm in Texas? Yeah,

Brian Walters (1m 52s):
Like you said, I'm military Brad. I'm a child of the Cold War. My dad went into the Marine Corps during Vietnam and stayed and got to live all over the country and the world. I thought it was a very fortuitous childhood. Japan, what used to be West Germany, et cetera, many in several states, mostly mostly California over the years when I was a kid, And I, then came back home to Texas, which is where my parents are from for college and law school, and And I practiced there. And my partner Jake Gilbert, And, I have maybe the largest Family, Law and Divorce firm in Texas. It's certainly one of the two or three largest. And we have offices in all the big cities. I'm based outta Houston.

Brian Walters (2m 32s):
He's based outta Austin. But we both cover the state as needed. And, we deal a lot with this. It's Texas is a really large state with a very large international component. And also people moving in and out of the state from other states. So, we deal with these issues all the time. They, they come up very frequently. And you're right, And, I'm a parent too, right? I mean, it would be my, my nightmare if I, you know, was concerned or actually had a child of mine get literally Kidnapped and taken overseas or, or even taken to another state or hidden out or something like that. It's real serious. And there aren't that many of these cases, but the ones that do occur are obviously really serious and and deserve our full attention.

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 13s):
Yeah. So let's, for Listeners, you know, we've, we've referenced the travel and other aspects and to kinda give a little bit more context of what we're talking about, you know, Brian And, I deal with, even though Texas and Colorado have different state laws, there are these uniform and international laws. And so Brian, if we're dealing with this situation, one of the is Listeners to this podcast now, and you have your own podcast, right?

Brian Walters (3m 40s):
That's correct.

Ryan Kalamaya (3m 42s):
So, and we'll have links to that in the show notes. People should check it out. But this situation would be, you know, for Listeners that have, you know, are familiar with our podcast, we have our hypothetical Divorce clients, Eric and Melanie Wolf. So if they go through a Divorce in let's say Boulder Colorado, and then, you know, like you, Eric has connections to Texas, he's got some o you know, energy oil background. And so Houston, one of the, you know, the, the capital for, you know, that industry. He goes to Houston and relocates there. And what's gonna happen, Brian, if Eric just says, I'm not coming back Melanie to, to Boulder, I'm just gonna stay in Houston.

Ryan Kalamaya (4m 24s):
I'm not bringing, you know, my kids, the, the kids back, they're better off here in, in Houston am Goscha, enroll 'em in a, you know, a nice Tony private school in Houston. How are you, And I gonna work together or what are the options for Melanie in that scenario? Can you maybe kind of walk Listeners through that issue?

Brian Walters (4m 46s):
Yes. So, you know, Melanie would need to take action, right? Because if you, if you just kind of sit and let the kids get enrolled in school and stay with dad for a year or two and then wanna do something, the courts are often gonna look at you and say, well, you seem to consent to that, right? Even if you complained about it in text or something. But if you just let 'em, let 'em do that, then sort of the facts on the ground become reality. So you've, you've gotta act and generally pretty quickly, cuz school's a good example, but a lot of times once kids are in the school, the courts are like, well, I don't know if I want to take 'em out in the middle of the school year, that kind of thing. So she would wanna hop on that, that real quickly. So what she could do since this Divorce and child Custody arrangement was originally from Colorado, and she's still in Colorado, she could file an enforcement, I do believe you're the, you're the Colorado lawyer, but you confirmed that she could file an enforcement in Colorado serving in Texas with those documents and compel him to have a hearing up in Colorado And I.

Brian Walters (5m 47s):
I would assume that the courts up there would move pretty quickly with that and the courts in Texas would respect that. you know, if he, you know, if he refused to show up to Colorado and Colorado issued an order that said bring the kids back immediately, Texas would enforce that you could send that order to Texas. The Texas courts would, would then act as if it was a Texas order, since it's all 50 states are required to, to respect each other's laws and, and kind of help enforce it. The other option would be to file something in Texas and pursue it there if you were worried that he was not, you know, gonna delay or not respond to the Colorado things.

Brian Walters (6m 28s):
Those are, that would be the other options. So she has a couple of good options, but un unfortunately, she's gonna have to, you know, get, get lawyers involved in probably in two states to deal with something like this.

Ryan Kalamaya (6m 40s):
I mean, when I get these calls, and as you said, they're very rare. I think it real, it's highly fact specific right where it's gonna matter if Eric, if it's just kind of a one-off and he's down there for the weekend, you know, I had a situation over the summer where it was very, you know, similar that one of the parents was making kind of moves to register a child. And you know, like, you're right, we, we, you file something in Colorado, there's the uniform child Abduction Prevention Act here in Colorado. We'll talk about that a little bit more. But you know, they obviously she could call the police, you know, she could call the police in in Colorado. They're probably gonna say, you know, you need to call someone in in Houston.

Ryan Kalamaya (7m 21s):
Brian, what's been your experience in terms of seeing what the police, you know, do in, in those situations? If Melanie says, you know, calls the police and says, my children have been Kidnapped,

Brian Walters (7m 31s):
They're gonna say call a family lawyer there. It's not a crime, especially for, you know, a a, you know, a divorced husband who has the kids. It's not a crime for him to have the kids. It might be a violation of a court order, which at least in Texas can get you thrown in jail. But that's not the police, it's the, through our court system and they do it their own way through what we call contempt actions or enforcement actions down here at least.

Ryan Kalamaya (7m 56s):
Right, and you were referencing, you know, earlier and, and what we had talked about previously about the U C C J E A is Colorado, if it issues a Custody order, a parenting plan is gonna be the home state. And that matters for you and me because Colorado then has jurisdiction to modify, to enforce And. We'll get into kind of registering, you know, a Custody order under the U C C J E A in, in Texas, but Colorado's, you know, gonna be seen as the home state as long as Melanie is continuing to live in, in Colorado. So if Eric wants to move to Texas, then Colorado's likely going to be the forum that is gonna deal with the modification that he is seeking in terms of relocating, you know, to Texas.

Ryan Kalamaya (8m 47s):
But that doesn't mean that Texas can't do anything where I'll work with someone like you, Brian, in terms of, if I'm representing Melanie And, we know that Eric is frequently going to Texas. There might be a reason for us to register the Colorado parenting plan in Texas to have that open case to enforce the terms of the parenting plan. So Listeners that may not understand that, can you maybe walk us through that registration of a foreign, you know, another state and what the options are for Melanie if she's working with you in, in Texas for Eric, you know, withholding parenting time?

Brian Walters (9m 26s):
Sure. So the registration itself is fairly simple. You just basically slap a cover letter on, on the Colorado order. You go down to the courthouse, I guess it's all electronic these days and file that and say, Hey judge, this is the order that's that's enforced on these kids and And, I'm making that known to the, to the court here in Texas. Now at that point, nothing happens, right? The Texas courts are like, okay, thanks, you know, but we're not gonna do anything unless you ask us to. So, but yes, if, let's say in that hypothetical, let's say that she didn't wanna wait around for a Colorado court to issue an order for him to come back and then have to serve him, maybe he's gonna hide out and be difficult to serve, or maybe she knows in advance he's gonna just ignore it, which is a not a wise thing to do, but people do that sometimes.

Brian Walters (10m 12s):
So she might just say, look, let's just get an emergency order to turn the kids over to me in Texas and essentially get a, an order that does that. But she'd have to register the file first in Texas or the, or the court order from Colorado in Texas and then essentially go to the judge and say, look, here's the Colorado order. I'm clearly supposed to have the kids here's, you know, correspondence where he's just saying, I'm, I'm not gonna follow that or I don't care or whatever, and give me an order that will allow me to get the kids either from the school or just directly from his possession. Or sometimes the courts will say, bring the kids to court, both parents, and then we'll figure out what's really going on.

Brian Walters (10m 54s):
But if she wanted to move very quickly to get physical Custody of them, that's actually the, probably the quickest way is to do it within Texas. And the courts here are real serious about it. I mean, they're not, they don't care if somebody's in Texas or not. They want the courts things to be upheld. And really the only defense to that is from the dad's side in this scenario would be some kind of abuse allegation of I can't turn them over because she's gonna abuse them, which is, you know, gonna be difficult to prove and, you know, may not be true.

Ryan Kalamaya (11m 25s):
So yeah, most, you know, courts are gonna recognize some sort of exception if there's domestic violence or abuse or the children, you know, in emotional or physical harm and you know, the people that use that, they better be prepared to, you know, really have some strong evidence in my opinion. and you And I before, you know, getting on the, the show, we talked about the most common scenario in terms of, you know, these jurisdictional, you know, disputes between different states and people, you know, I mean they're moving around you And, I are doing this over Zoom. You we're, you know, a web-based platform, you're actually in Las Vegas instead of Texas And.

Ryan Kalamaya (12m 5s):
we we're now seeing these ability to move all around. So what's gonna happen if Colorado has the original Divorce and then Eric moves to Texas with the children and then Melanie goes to California where you know, you've got some roots. What happens in that scenario if Eric, you know, reaches out to you and says, Hey Brian, I I'd like to, you know, switch schools and Melanie And, I don't agree, but Colorado has the original jurisdiction walk Listeners through that modification, which is in contrast to the registration and enforcement,

Brian Walters (12m 41s):
Right? That's an interesting one. And there's actually a couple of options in that case, which, you know, in theory there might be lawsuits in all three states, Colorado, Texas and, and California. But that's exactly the purpose of the law is to avoid having that kind of thing. So technically either one of them could file a modification in Colorado since it is still the home state even, even though nobody's there. I, I don't think that would happen. And, I think that Colorado would quickly kick the case out and say, look, you know, I appreciate the thought, but nobody lives here. It would normally under that scenario belong in Texas because that's where the children are, which is where the, that's the focus of that jurisdiction provisions are, are related to the kids now, you know, if they had been back and forth in the summer between California and Texas and then schools coming and now we've got a crisis, And I think you could argue it either way, And, I've had those, I've had to, you know, attend or fly to California and other states to, you know, deal with these hearings where the two states are arguing over the kids and where they belong.

Brian Walters (13m 42s):
And I've had these three state things where nobody lives in the original state, but generally where the kids have been the most recently, certainly things like where they go to school, where their doctors are, you know, where their friends are, those are the kind of things, and generally the courts are going to decide very quickly. There's a provision where the, the judges from the different states basically call each other and say, look, here's what I know, here's what you know, let's pick a state so these poor folks don't have to hire lawyers in three states, right? Let's just do this in one place. But I think in that particular scenario, the the case would probably end up in Texas and, and again, that's just where the case is, right? That doesn't mean someone's gonna win just because they're in their state where they are.

Brian Walters (14m 26s):
The, the Texas courts, and I'm sure it's true in Colorado, And, I'm sure it's true in all 50 states, the judges are gonna do what's in the best interest of the children. That's always the legal standard. And so once we've followed where the case is gonna be, then the judges are gonna apply the same thing. And I, I think most of the time you get the same results in all three states about where the kids will end up. So sometimes it's a bit of a, i, I think a mistake or not a great use of resources to fight about where we're gonna litigate this versus paying attention to what's in the best interest of the kids, which is ultimately should win out assuming everybody has equal quality lawyers and equal funds to prosecute these things.

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 8s):
This episode is brought to you by our law firm, Kalamaya Goscha Amy And I describe our law firm as an innovative and ambitious trial team that pushes the boundaries to discover new frontiers in family law, personal injuries in criminal defense in Colorado. We currently have offices in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Edwards, Denver and Boulder. If you wanna find out more, visit our website, Kalamaya dot law now back to the show. Yeah, Brian, I mean you And I and it's subject for a another episode. I think that there are some real differences between how Texas deals with property or spousal support, alimony.

Ryan Kalamaya (15m 53s):
There's some real significant differences between states in terms of financials. Yeah. And there are certainly some differences between states in terms of how they view parenting, but I think that dot, the general trend is they're going a little bit closer together in terms of their view and, and kind of how our cultures view parenting. And it's so judge specific, I'm sure that, you know, in Texas, regardless of parenting, you're gonna have one judge that is generally seen as a little bit more kind of promo or a little bit mother oriented versus you know, another judge.

Ryan Kalamaya (16m 33s):
And so often I'm sure you get those calls, Brian, where people are kind of forum shopping because they really want some jurisdiction on the, you know, that's gonna be advantageous to them on parenting. But getting back to that kind of core question in terms of that modification, when, you know, people have abandoned that home state, it results in having this argument about where the jurisdiction should be for you know, any sort of modification. And you know, I'd love to be a kind of a fly the wall in terms of these judges, you know, Colorado judge calling the the Texas judge and you know, maybe talking about the weather and golf and you know, hey, do you want this case? No, I don't want this case.

Ryan Kalamaya (17m 14s):
And you know, I think that really they're gonna talk about, you know, what the most recent it really is, is again, highly fact specific. If there's been some sort of Custody evaluation in Colorado that was just a year old, then you know that's gonna be different than, Hey, I haven't heard anything about this case for two or three years. They've been in Texas going to school. Really, I think they're gonna look for where the evidence, you know, is, and that's the teachers, how long the children have been there and, and the facts on the ground. Don't you agree?

Brian Walters (17m 48s):
Yeah, I agree. I've had a number of these, and that's a little different scenario where, you know, let's say the mom has been in Colorado and dad's been with the kids in Texas for, like you said, two years they've been in school down here and then someone files a modification. In that case you would have to start the case in Colorado because that's mom's still there and that's where the case originally was. But then dad would probably move forward in Colorado and say, Hey Colorado, please give up this case decline jurisdiction. And that's sort of the two to three year mark. I think you really hit it on the head is kind of where judges, when the kids have been outta state that long, the and and one parent still in the original state, I think that's where the judges start to say, you know, it's about evidence, right?

Brian Walters (18m 31s):
Like, so let's say you need, you might need the teachers to testify or a doctor to testify or a therapist. Well at that point, if the kids have been a couple of years in Texas, that's probably where those people are that have relevant recent knowledge. Let's say there's a, you know, a dispute with the child and having ADHD and needing medication and one parent thinks that's a good idea, another doesn't, a common dispute. And you know, well now if in that case the doctor who's been in a therapist who've been dealing with that child and the teachers who've been teaching that child are all in Texas and anything from Colorado, those are people that haven't seen the kid in two or three years, haven't taught, you know, the older teachers from, you know, prior grades.

Brian Walters (19m 14s):
So it just makes sense in the judge's mind like let's do this case where it's easy to get ahold of those people where it's easy for them to travel to come to court these days. Now, you know, you can now testify by Zoom a lot of times, so maybe that's less of an argument than it used to be, but that was always the cutoff that I've seen was right at about the two year mark and at that point the judges think Anne needs to go to the new place. Less than that, maybe not,

Ryan Kalamaya (19m 40s):
Right? The argument is what's gonna be the most convenient forum even though Colorado has kind of the original home state, you know, where is it gonna be most convenient regardless of, you know, whether Melanie lives here in Colorado or not. That's, you know, really the kind of main argument. Well, Brian, let's switch gears. We talked about international, you know, the child Abduction Prevention Act, it is a uniform and it kind of talks about from state by state. I don't think judges really are all that concerned when there's a risk of a child going to Florida or Texas. But man, the, you know, the judge's worst nightmare is a child that goes to Argentina or some other state or some other country and doesn't come back.

Ryan Kalamaya (20m 26s):
We had a very well known case here in the Roaring Fort Valley in Colorado of that happening. So can you walk with Listeners through, you know, some of the different aspects of international, you know, jurisdiction and some of the issues when a parent flees to a different country?

Brian Walters (20m 43s):
I mean the key question ultimately I think is, is the country that the parent has fled to with the child gonna cooperate to get the child back and make that parent, you know, follow the rules. you know, obviously as we've talked about, the 50 states in the United States have to follow each other's rules. There's no, but there's not an equivalent power out there in the rest of the world. So what I've seen, so you do have a law, it's called the hay convent, we call it the Hay Convention for short. And it's essentially says, you know, for the purp, if someone has fled with the child against a court order of, of one of these other countries, all the people, all the countries that have signed this will return the child to that home country.

Brian Walters (21m 24s):
It doesn't determine who gets Custody, it just says, we're gonna make sure this child is not held hostage, basically, or Kidnapped in elsewhere. So there's that, but there's two problems. One is that not every country, in fact many countries have not signed that and so don't follow it necessarily. And then secondly, there's an issue, which is some of the ones that have signed it don't have very well good functioning legal systems, And I guess even beyond that, there's a third issue, which is that even if they do have good legal systems, and even if they have signed this, they may not, I mean still really expensive to fight these things, you're gonna have to fi let's say Germany for example, the mom's taken the child to Germany. Well that's a country that Sinai Hay can mentioned and what the functioning legal system, but you're gonna have to hire a lawyer in Texas or in the United States and then you're gonna have to hire a lawyer in Germany.

Brian Walters (22m 13s):
And these things are expensive and these are complex cases. And so it's pretty rare when it happens. But again, it's devastating, right? I mean you, you don't get to see your kid again if they've been taken to another country. So it's a real problem and you know, it's a complex issue. And then there of course there's some gray areas, right? There's countries that have semi functioning legal systems, you know, that, that kind of work. And those might not be great, but they're better than nothing. And, and then of course there are countries that aren't Hague signatories that might, you might still be able to get a quarter order to send the child back, but just because, but they haven't signed the Hague Convention. So you're gonna have to go about it a different way within that, that country.

Brian Walters (22m 54s):

Ryan Kalamaya (22m 55s):
Yeah, and in Colorado, we just recently had a, a pellet case that provided some guidance because there is the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, I referenced that earlier, but the language, it says, the statute says that you need to have a quote, credible risk. And so in the recent case in 2023, and it was in your marriage of And I, the last name is Mouthful, but it's, it's like, but the situation in that Brian that I think you can, you know, certainly relate to and, and especially based in in Houston that just such an international hub. But in this situation, in in the case in Colorado, the father, he was from Jordan or had a Jordanian passport.

Ryan Kalamaya (23m 40s):
And so he would often go to Jordan, he would go to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. And the issue is, is he gonna go there with the children and then not come back? And you know, Brian, I'm sure you see a lot of times people, if they want to go to spring break, we're just in recording this kind of fishing up spring break for many people. And if they want to go to Costa Rica or Mexico or you know, Jordan, most of the airlines are gonna require, you know, some sort of notarized authorization form that says that the other parent is aware of them traveling internationally. And the reason is that the airlines, they don't want to, you know, be held responsible, but they also wanna make sure that if divorced people are traveling, that they're not abducting the children.

Ryan Kalamaya (24m 29s):
And so there needs to be consent. We've kind of seen stories in the news and hear about, you know, the mom gets upset and she just runs away and goes kind of covert in Switzerland or Argentina and they take on different, you know, aliases and names, And I mean, they're just horrific stories that, you know, as a parent could, you know, really, you know, result in some lost sleep. And so, but the issue is even though we've heard these horrible stories, just because someone has an international passport, does that mean that they're gonna not come back? And in the case in Colorado, the court said you have to post father a $50,000 bond when you travel with the children and give up your passports when you're not traveling.

Ryan Kalamaya (25m 16s):
And so there's various things that the courts, you know, can do if there is a credible risk. But it's to your point, in terms of that hay convention, which is a factor of where are they traveling to And I think the courts are gonna get into are have there been previous threats of I, Amy Goscha to you know, so and such place and not come back, have they, you know, quit their job or sold their house? Are there these activities that would result or that would be consistent with abducting, you know, someone And I mean they really are challenging cases as you said, but any kind of experience that you have, Brian, that you think, you know, Listeners might find helpful if they kind of are dealing with some of the international Abduction risks?

Brian Walters (26m 4s):
Yeah, quite a bit. I mean, first of all, the only time I've ever represented somebody who's had their child taken away to another country and kind of disappeared with the child was out of the blue that the my client, the dad, the husband didn't see coming. They're both from Bolivia, both professionals who had worked really hard to, to immigrate to this country and get their citizenship and start their careers over. and you know, their marriage had fallen apart. It happens, right? And they had a young child and it just seemed, you know, they both had fine financial support here, et cetera. And just one day my client went over during the middle of the Divorce to get his kid for the weekend and she wasn't there.

Brian Walters (26m 49s):
He didn't think that much of it. He texted her, she didn't respond, you know, and even it turns out she just got on a plane that Friday and flew to Bolivia. And again, they don't have a functioning legal system down there. And so they have a functioning legal system, but it's, it's highly corrupt, let me put it that way. And he never said to me like, Hey, I'm concerned she might run away with the child. Quite the opposite. So if you have any doubts or even the slightest concern, you should really take efforts to it. Number two case was the case I picked up where the mom had allegedly, lemme say that since we're lawyers here, you know, fled with the child to first to Italy, then to Turkey, then to Greece and basically the dad here in the US and they were both immigrants also, but again, highly successful folks that had seemingly had no reason to return to any of these places.

Brian Walters (27m 40s):
you know, was playing whack-a-mole overseas with, you know, he'd get an order from Italy and she went to Turkey, then he'd, years later he'd get an order from Turkey saying give the kids back. And then she went to Greece and it was really a problem. And despite having the law on his side and kind of unlimited resources, it had been a really long time since he had seen his kid years and years. And, I'm not sure I don not in that case anymore, but I'm not sure he's ever gonna see his children, you know, and that's what, you know, Italy's a EU member, a NATO member, not maybe not the greatest legal system in all of Europe, but it's still a functioning system. And so that's worrisome. And lastly, I just finished a trial two weeks ago where my client, an American citizen, was marrying a gentleman, a British citizen who happened to live in Dubai, speaking about, who was actually half Jordanian, but is living in Dubai for another couple of years.

Brian Walters (28m 33s):
And the dad lived in Connecticut. It's a long complicated story. But anyway, she wanted to move over there to get married and then in three years they were gonna move back to the states most likely. And the dad was just beside himself. Like, what if she stays over there Dubai, or see what u a e actually is, not a signatory to the Hay convention. And my client's like an American, I, my, my husband's British, we we're not gonna stay in Dubai. It's nice place, but not, there's no plans to do that. and you can see the kid all summer, you know, Christmastime, whatever. Then the judge really thought about it. I mean, ultimately the judge let her go. But that was one of their big issues was, well, you know, Dubai isn't a signatory to the Hay convention and for some reason she decides to stay over there and denying visitation.

Brian Walters (29m 21s):
He doesn't have much she can do about it. And you know, it's, there are two sides of the story, right? I mean, it's not, it's not as simple as that. And of course there's low trust between the parents, which is why you're, you know, that's how people get into this litigation anyway is generally that's a characteristic of it. So it's really complicated. It's all over the place and it's terrifyingly high stakes. Totally, totally understand it.

Ryan Kalamaya (29m 44s):
From my perspective, there's two different aspects where this, the international comes into play. The first is if there's a Divorce between, you know, two people, Eric and Melanie, and there's some sort of international connection where, you know, Melanie might be British or she could have been, you know, raised in Hong Kong. I've, I've seen that before. Then Eric is gonna really want to make sure that, you know, preemptively, he's gonna try to OBTAIN some safeguards that are at play and you know, whether you go to trial, but you know, really wanna talk with his attorney, you or me about what can I do, how, you know, how serious is this risk?

Ryan Kalamaya (30m 27s):
There are the situations like you went through in terms of, you know, just they could come home and they could be completely gone. There was a case here in the Roaring Fork Valley where, you know, mom wanted to relocate to Argentina and you know, she got the evaluation from the Custody evaluator that was not in her favor and in response she got scared and just put the kids on a plane and went to Argentina and didn't come back. But, you know, there's that situation. But then there's also the situation where one actually a child is abducted or is, you know, there is some sort of, you know, modification or, or that the, the children are actually in the international, the destination that the other country.

Ryan Kalamaya (31m 10s):
And in that situation, as you said, it gets really complicated because you are dealing with, you know, international lawyers. I've had cases in Hong Kong, France, you know, England, I used to, I lived for a year in England at a boarding school after college. And you know, they, we would have parents from Russia, from the children, from Russia, from Molly, from all different countries. And so you can see how this plays out and it gets incredibly complicated. And there are attorneys that specialize in just the international component that work with local council like you and me because there's so many moving pieces. But I mean, the general idea is supposed to be under the Hay convention of what we were just discussing, that there should be just one forum, there should be enforcement, but it does not actually in practice happen as easily as Texas versus Colorado.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 5s):
And even that is fairly complicated. So, you know, Brian, there, I, I think it's one of those things that if that situation, you know, happens, people, you know, they need to figure out a, a way to find someone that has some experience because you know, as I've gone through it and as you've gone through it, it is incredibly complex and there are no easy answers and the stakes are just so high. It's not just calling the police and saying someone Kidnapped my child. Which a lot of people kind of think that that's what you do, but you know, there's no remedy that's really easy if a child is in another country.

Brian Walters (32m 43s):
Yeah, a hundred percent agree. And nothing's more, more serious or it can't be higher stakes than that, that's for sure.

Ryan Kalamaya (32m 51s):
Well, Brian, thank you for the time. I hope you do well at the slot machines or whatever your game of choices, And. I'm,

Brian Walters (32m 60s):
I'm here on business. I promise So I actually,

Ryan Kalamaya (33m 4s):
Well, you know, appreciate the time And. we will have links to the show notes in the show notes to your firm and to your podcast. What's the best way for people to reach out to you if they're interested in finding out more about your guys' firm?

Brian Walters (33m 19s):
Yeah, our website, you know, there's Chad, you know, email call whenever we have a dedicated intake team and happy to help people. That's, that's what we do.

Ryan Kalamaya (33m 28s):
Well thanks again for joining us, Brian, and if you have found this episode helpful or relevant, you know, please subscribe and leave us a review and if you have any feedback, please leave us a comment in the relevant, you know, show notes or podcast recording and, or feel free to shoot us a, a message. But until next time, thanks for joining us on DVOs Altitude. This is Ryan Kalamaya Hey Everyone, this is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce at Altitude. If you found our tips, insight, or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources or links mentioned on today's episode, visit Divorce at Altitude dot com.

Ryan Kalamaya (34m 10s):
Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are also posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at Kalamaya.law or 970-315-2365. That's K A L A M A Y A.law