• Larry Zhou

China Lawyer: Get Child Custody in China, Things You Need to Know

Updated: Feb 29

I want custody of my child”.

Recently a helpless father came to us to seek help. He was granted the custody of his child by a US court, however, his ex-girlfriend who is a Chinese citizen bring their child back to China. He could not find them and did not know what to do. For those child custody cases, you may have to notice the following points:

Q1: I won custody of my child in a foreign court, will the courts in China enforce this foreign court judgement? A1: No. For child custody case, Chinese courts are unable to enforce a foreign judgement, which means you need to bring a new lawsuit in China. However, the judgement of foreign court would become a favorable evidence in Chinese courts.

Q2: I have the custody of my child, the other parent of my child bring my child to China without my consent, could I sue him/her for international parental child abduction? A2: No. The Hague Abduction Conventionis a treaty that intends to protect children from the harmful effects of international abduction by a parent. However, China does not join the Hague Abduction Convention, you could not use this convention to sue for international parental child abduction and bring your child back.



Q3: Could I bring a custody case in PRC courts? A3: If you sue for child custody with a divorce case, to check whether Chinese court has jurisdiction, please refer to our former article “China lawyer: how to file a divorce suit in China?”. If you bring a lawsuit only for child custody, basically if either party is Chinese citizen or not but have habitual residence in China, the PRC court shall have jurisdiction.

Q4: Do I need to be present if I bring a custody lawsuit in China? A4: Yes, under PRC law, custody dispute is a special type of case which requires your present.

Q5: How many times do I need to be appear in court? A5: If everything goes well, you only have to appear in the court once. If the case goes to the appellate court, you have to appear in the court for another time.

Q6: How likely could I get the custody of my child? A6: According to PRC law, if your child is under 2 years old, usually the court will conclude the child should live with mother, if you are the father, your chance to win is minor. For child over 2 years old and both parents want custody, if one party have the following situations, shall have priority:have undergone sterilization or have lost fertility; the child have lived with him/her for a long time; having no other children, while the other party has other children; child living with them are beneficial to their growth, while the other party suffers from diseases or other situations which makes it is not appropriate to live with their children.For child over 10 years old, the willing of the child may also be considered.

Q7: If I win the custody, does the opposite party need to pay for aliments? A7: Yes. The aliments shall includes the expenses for life sustention, education, medical care, etc.

Q8: What information I need to provide when I seek help of attorney for child custody? A8: Include but not limited to the following information:

  • The personal information of the opposite party (the name, residence, ID, etc. )

  • The personal information of your child (the name, ID, birth certificate, etc.)

  • Your story, all the details related to your custody dispute. A

  • ll the evidence you have which related to the custody.

Children are angels, their smile could cure all the pains and sufferings. We understand thoroughly your deep love to your children and your belief that for children it is better to live with you. If you are losing your children, you are painful and helpless, please feel free to contact us, we will be with you and try our best to get your children back.

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