What to Consider Before Allowing Your Ex to Move Your Child to Brazil

A parent may allow their child to relocate to Brazil for various reasons. A possible scenario is a family crisis, such as a sudden illness or death in the family, where the child requires emotional support from their extended family.

Another scenario could be a divorce or separation, where one parent needs to move to Brazil for work or personal reasons and wishes to take their child along. In much of cases, both parents may agree that the move to Brazil is in the best interest of the child, such as to provide a fresh start and a new environment for the child to grow and thrive in.

Additionally, in some cases, a temporary move to Brazil may be seen to “cool things down” in a tense family situation, with the hope that the family can eventually reconcile and find a way to move forward.

However, it is important to consider the legal and practical implications of such a move, as there may be risks and challenges involved, especially if there is no clear agreement or court order in place regarding the custody and access rights of the non-relocating parent.

If you are a parent facing the prospect of allowing your child to relocate to Brazil with your spouse or ex-spouse, it is crucial to take a well-informed and thoughtful approach. Such a decision can have significant and long-lasting consequences for your child and your family, so it is essential to consider all the relevant factors carefully. Factors to consider may include legal implications, practical challenges, cultural differences, and the well-being and happiness of your child.

Legally speaking, it is not a requirement to obtain a court order when allowing your child to relocate to Brazil with their mother. However, it is strongly advised that you do so. It is essential to have a court order that specifically details the custody arrangements, including the period of relocation of the child before the child leaves the country. Without such an order, you could encounter considerable obstacles when trying to assert your parental rights and enforcing any custody arrangements in Brazil.

It is crucial to note that the legal systems of Brazil and your home country may differ significantly, and without a formal agreement in place, it may be difficult to navigate the legal complexities that may arise in such a situation.

To put it simply, in Brazil, a court order issued outside the country that permits the relocation of a child from their current place of residence to Brazil under certain specified conditions regarding the non-relocating parent’s custody and access rights is typically not enforceable.

To enforce a foreign court order in Brazil, it must go through a legal process called “homologation.” During this process, a new court order will be issued in Brazil that considers the foreign court order and decides how it will be enforced within the country.

In other words, the process of “homologation” in Brazil means that the foreign court order is not automatically recognized and enforced in Brazil. Instead, it is essentially treated as a new legal case, where the Brazilian court considers the foreign court order and decides how it will be enforced in Brazil, considering Brazilian laws and regulations. So, while the foreign court order may provide some guidance or framework for custody and access arrangements, the final decision on enforcement will ultimately be up to the Brazilian court.

Even if a foreign court order permitting a child’s relocation to Brazil is “homologated” in Brazil, there is still no guarantee that the terms of the order will remain in effect over time or that they will be enforced in practice.

The Brazilian courts have the power to modify or revise the court order issued outside of Brazil. This can happen if there is a change in family circumstances or if the court deems it necessary in the best interest of the child. This means that the Brazilian court can make changes to the original court order to ensure that it is in line with the current situation and serves the best interest of the child.

For example, let us say a foreign court order allows a child to move to Brazil with their mother under certain conditions regarding the non-relocating parent’s custody and access rights. After the order is homologated in Brazil, if the non-relocating parent experiences a significant change in their family circumstances or if it is found to be in the best interest of the child to modify the custody or access arrangements, the Brazilian court may decide to revise the order.

It should also be noted that Brazilian courts take the said “best interests of the child” into account when considering custody and access matters. This means that any decision taken by the Brazilian courts will prioritize the child’s welfare and “happiness” over the parents’ desires or interests. This approach is consistent with the international legal framework on children’s rights and reflects Brazil’s commitment to protecting and promoting children’s rights.

So, it is highly recommended that you seek legal guidance and advice before making any decisions regarding your child’s relocation to Brazil. 

By doing so, you can ensure that your parental rights are protected, and your child’s best interests are prioritized.


Dr. Mauricio Ejchel

Lawyer in Brazil

International Lawyer, graduated from the Law School of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, Postgraduate in International Relations at Laureate International Universities, admitted to the Brazilian Bar in 1995, founding partner of MF Ejchel Advocacy International (est. 1996), law specialist commentator at the Brazilians TV Networks and columnist for Radio Justice, that belongs to the Brazilian Supreme Court.

Dr. Ejchel concentrates his expertise on international family law, lectures on international child abduction and other international family law topics on television and radio show and is frequently featured in the print media.

As an academic writer, has several legal articles published both in Portuguese and English.
With over 25 years of legal experience and commitment to the advocacy, he provides strategic legal advices based on his ability to manage complex cases and negotiate legal contingencies, being also an experienced barrister, obstinately acting before the Brazilian Courts in numerous lawsuits.