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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16354
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am wondering if an American woman is married to a French

Customer Question

Hi I am wondering if an American woman is married to a French man and has a child, and they later divorce, what are the parents rights to the child?
JA: What steps have they taken? Have they filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No. No steps taken. Does it matter if the child is born on US soil vs French soil for who has rights
JA: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do they live in?
Customer: The US
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: That is all
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in the UK with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me just read your question and I will either give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond to you as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best answer I can.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you
Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

The nationality of the parents and the birthplace of the child are irrelevant. The law which will be used to determine the rights and obligations of the parents is the law of the country where the child is habitually resident at the relevant time. So if the child is in a US state, the family law of that state will govern.

Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
To clarify, this is not a current situation. I am American and my partner is French. He thinks that we need to have our child in France in order for us to have equal rights to our child in case anything were to happen (divorce)
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Therefore, I am wondering if I would have to have our baby in France in order to make sure we have equal rights to the child as I am American and he is French
Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

I am not a French lawyer but the principles of jurisdiction suggest that that position is wrong. A French court would not have jurisdiction over a child living in the US even if the child was born in France. That is a nonsense situation.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Ok is there any way to make sure the father has equal rights to the child in case of a separation?
Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

You will have to check the legal system where the child will be resident. Most legal systems give the father parental rights where the parents are married either before or after the birth or where the father is named on the birth certificate or where there is a parental rights agreement. An order of the court can also confer parental rights.

Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  JGM replied 14 days ago.

You’re welcome. Thanks for using JustAnswer.