telling me or the court. She violated our divorce decree (which states she cannot leave south Florida without notifying me), she also forged my signature on the child's passport application in order to obtain a passport for the child without my knowing. They have moved permanently to Israel and I have no contact with my child. I have always paid my child support, though I was rarely able to see the child because my ex-wife never answered the phone, did not show up etc. Last year, I filed a motion (pro se) to try and enforce the visitations, however after several months of waiting I find out by chance that she sold her house and moved overseas. Can I file a motion to stop paying child support? I can assure you, she doesn't need the money and I do since I have remarried and have two kids.
Family Law Attorney
You need to retain an attorney familiar with international kidnapping, and possibly involve the FBI. There are crimes involved here. Visitation and child support are totally separate issues. You have grounds to get custody of your child. Then you would be able to stop paying support.
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Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
This sounds like it will turn into a wrongful removal action, governed (controlled) by the Hague Convention. Israel is a signatory of the convention I believe and therefore in order to repatriate the child back to the United States you need an attorney familiar with family and international law to assist.
Once the child is back, the courts will be (understandably) loath to trust her again. Chances are once you regain custody you will be able to stop paying child support. You may even be able to force her to pay child support from Israel as well.
I recommend that you do not do anything like trying to re-obtain your child through self-help means (ie: mercenaries or anything related) since you are dealing with an arena (and area of the world) which is horribly complicated politically.
Do not be mistaken, you have every right to fight to try and get your child returned to you. But the battle will be... lengthy.
Ms. Morcroft's advice on getting the federal government involved is spot on. However, go to the Office of Children Issues at the State Department instead. The FBI coordinates with them. They deal with abductions taking children out of the US to other countries.
Best of luck to you.
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Family Law Attorney
I totally agree with Ms. Morcroft and Mr Davis. Keep also in mind that by using her violations of the Florida rwlixation statute you may be able to get a custody order in your favor now. The Hague Convention applies to children 16 and under and to those parents who have a custody order in their favor. This is an exceptionally sophisticated area of family law and you need your own counsel now. Don't mess around with this on your own!
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Criminal Defense Attorney
I am not a Florida lawyer, but I expect with an attorney's help a Florida Court would grant you legal custody. Even if you failed in your attempts to enforce this Order, it should terminate your child support obligation. Get an attorney and file your motion ASAP.
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How long ago did she move to Israel? This will depend on several more facts, including the status of your rights of custody at the time of removal and whether a year has passed since the removal.
You might not need to hire an international attorney if all you want to do is stop your child support obligations. This would be a local issue. She might get a dueling court order from an Israeli court though, at which point you might want to stop such an order's enforcement in the U.S. with a jurisdictional approach (see my journal article linked below).
If you want to have your child returned to the U.S., you have several options. The most effective option may be to get in contact with an Israeli attorney with Hague Convention experience. You could also use a US-based lawyer for a free consultation to help you analyze your case (see link below).
Hope this helps.
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