Cross-Border Parenting Plans

If your family resides in different countries, you will have logistical and practical considerations that require a skilled professional’s guidance.  Melissa is experienced in working with multi-jurisdictional families, and has an extensive network of professionals globally with whom she works, to help families form unique and creative parenting plans so that children have appropriate time with the important people in their lives.

Child Relocation

Melissa is experienced in advising clients on their options to move overseas with their children.  She routinely works with families where a parent works with an international organization, Multi-national Corporation, or in the Foreign Service.

Child Abduction

Melissa has experience working with families where one parent may have unilaterally relocated their child to another country.   She worked with the Hague Conference on Private International Law as a consultant in 2013, and understands and can advise on the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention.  She has helped foreign counsel as a U.S. legal expert, and has successfully mediated many of these cases.  She is familiar with the U.S. Department of State, located a few blocks from her D.C. office, and can appropriately advise clients that have questions about any paperwork filed with the U.S. government.   She has worked with lawyers to advise them on child abduction prevention issues, and served as a litigation consultant in numerous cases in multiple jurisdictions.

Overseas Travel for Children

Melissa works with her clients to address issues related to their children’s travel to other countries, and addresses her clients’ concerns about other country’s recognition of their custodial arrangements.  She has advised clients and other lawyers on issues about obtaining U.S. passports for children, preventing potential child abductions, and maneuvering the legal and administrative processes related to international travel.

Multi-Jurisdictional Marriage and Divorce

Melissa is skilled with advising foreign and U.S. clients about foreign marriage recognition.  She helps her clients understand their options for pursuing a divorce and aligns her clients with professionals across the globe so they can achieve their goals in the best way possible.

International Child Support Obligations

Melissa is experienced in advising clients about multi-jurisdictional child support cases, and the resources available to clients to obtain and enforce a child support order when the paying parent resides in a different country.  She also routinely advises on obtaining or modifying child support obligations.

Overseas Assets and Support Issues

Melissa has experience working with clients whose situations include overseas assets or the need for spousal support or maintenance from spouses who live in other countries.

Overseas Case Support

If your family law case is currently running its course in another country, you or your lawyer may need help from a U.S. family lawyer.  Melissa provides case support in foreign family law cases, from the perspective of a U.S. international family lawyer.


It is common that you may need a formal authentication of a court order or a public document issued in the United States for use overseas.  Melissa is able to help you navigate obtaining these formal authentications.