Mon Dieu! Could Halle Berry Really Be Allowed to Move Daughter Nahla to France?

Oscar winner reportedly files court papers requesting permission to hightail it to the City of Light—but what about baby daddy Gabriel Aubry?

By Natalie Finn, Claudia Rosenbaum, Alexis L. Loinaz Feb 09, 2012 10:09 PMTags
Gabriel Aubry, Halle BerryJason Merritt/Getty Images; MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Halle Berry can travel to wherever she wants for work, for vacation, for the hell of it, etc. But if she wants to move somewhere—and take her kid with her—that's a whole other story.

The Oscar winner, who once again is dealing with custody issues with ex Gabriel Aubry, has reportedly filed court papers requesting permission to move to France with their daughter, Nahla.

Is that even legally possible?!

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Well, it would only be illegal if Berry just took off with Nahla, but getting a judge to sign off on the move could be difficult.

"If the court finds it is a detriment to the child—meaning that it would interfere with the relationship with the father, that it would harm the child in terms of the child's ties to where the child is living—then the judge wouldn't grant [permission]," family law expert Lisa Helfend Meyer tells E! News. "The court looks at it in terms of what's in the child's best interest."

Obviously, the transcontinental relocation would put some major distance between Nahla and Aubry, who was born in Quebec and therefore is French-Canadian, just not French. Berry's current beau—and possible fiancéOlivier Martniez, however, is French.

Meyer says that the approval process could take as long as six months as the judge considers multiple factors, including the current custody arrangement, the child's age and temperament, which parent the child seems more bonded with, each parent's abilities, the mom and dad's ability to coparent, and any possible domestic violent or substance abuse issues.

Lawyers for Berry and Aubry have had no comment on the latest reported wrench in their ongoing custody case.

Berry's planned move most certainly is not sitting well with Aubry and he is said to believe that Berry is being retaliatory. The two were in court again last month after Aubry's nanny tried to get a restraining order against him, claiming he'd been abusive with her in front of Nahla. A judge refused the request, but otherwise all family-court records concerning his proceedings with Berry have been sealed.

Meyer says that if Aubry can show that Berry's move is in "bad faith" and meant to deprive him of time with his daughter, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Juhas (who's been overseeing their case) could be inclined to shoot down Berry's request.

"If she's just moving just to get away from him, and the court sees it as that sort of attempt to interfere with his relationship, then she's not going to be able to move," Meyers tells E! News.

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Berry will have to show a good reason for moving to France, be it that she has family there, is going to be working in the country for an extensive period of time or is going to be marrying a French citizen. Then a child evaluator would meet with Nahla and both Berry and Aubry and turn in an extensive report of her observations.

"If [Aubry is] with the kid every other weekend, he's not going to be able to see the child with that kind of regularity," Meyer notes. "He's not going to be able to go to the doctor appointments, not going to be able to go to the school—it's a big deal. So, usually, the parent who's left behind is going to fight a huge battle because they're not going to want to lose the consistent time with their child.

"You can't ever cut the baby in half," she adds, "so it's win or lose. Either the kid gets to go or he doesn't. These are very, very difficult cases. It's not like she's asking for an additional day during the week. It's a major, life-changing event for all of them."

Berry, in addition to the recent scrutiny, has had her fair share of unwanted attention over the past year. A young man was sentenced to more than a year in jail last month after admitting to stalking the New Year's Eve star and a judge ordered a 10-year restraining order to keep him away from her and her family.

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