Trapped Abroad – The UCCJEA in International Cases and the Need for an Expansive Application of the Escape Clause
Ms. Insalaco has practiced exclusively in the area offamily law forover20 years, the last 17asa partneratSucherman â¢ Insalaco LLP She has been a Certified Specialist in Family Law since 2003. She handles trial-level work and appeals. Her experience includes having been a member ofthe State Bar’s Family Law Executive Committee (FlexCom); a member of the Board ofDirectors ofthe Association ofCertified Family Law Specialists; and Chair of the Family Law Section Chair for the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF). She is a frequent presenter and writer on a variety offamily law topics. She is also dedicated to pro bono work and has received numerous related awards including BASF’s James P. Preovolos Award and an Angel Award from California Lawyer Magazine.
Imagine you are being consulted by a mother who, two years ago, agreed with her husband’s request that she and their baby daughter move with him to China for a two-year stint, so that the husband could take advantage of a temporary, international assignment with his U.S. employer. The parties placed their belongings in storage, rented their home in Los Angeles, and moved to China. In China, they rented an apartment and did not make any citizenship application. At the end of the two years, the husband was enjoying his new life and the parties’ marriage was facing difficulties. The husband decided he did not wish to return to California for the time being, and he also did not want his daughter to leave. He thus took the daughter’s passport and locked it up, and informed wife that, while she was free to go home, their daughter would be remaining in China with him. The wife flew back to California to consult with you. What is your advice?