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3 Essential Points to Understand About International Child Abduction

In today's interconnected world, where travel across borders is commonplace, thousands of children fall victim to familial abduction each year. To address this issue, many Western nations, including the United States, have ratified the Hague Convention, which aims to facilitate the return of abducted children to their state of habitual residence. This blog highlights three crucial aspects to consider when pursuing a Hague case for the return of an abducted child.

  1. Jurisdiction and Legal Proceedings: To initiate a Hague case, the parent seeking the child's return must file a legal action in the state where the child habitually resides or where they are currently located with the abducting parent. The primary objective is to obtain a “return order” from the court, compelling the child's return to their habitual residence—the place from which they were wrongfully removed. Such cases may be litigated in state or federal courts within the United States.
  2. Legal Defenses: Despite the Hague Convention's provisions, the abducting parent may attempt to evade a return order by seeking asylum or asserting residency or citizenship status in the United States. However, these factors do not preclude the issuance of a return order. Nevertheless, legal defenses can be raised to challenge the return order, such as demonstrating that the child would face intolerable conditions or grave risks upon return.
  3. International Remedies: The Hague Convention's remedies are only applicable in countries that are signatories to the treaty and have ratified its provisions. In jurisdictions where the Hague Convention does not apply, alternative legal frameworks, such as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, may be utilized. These cases are intricate and necessitate close collaboration among attorneys, translators (in many instances), and the courts.

At Ciyou & Associates, P.C., we are highly skilled in handling parental abduction cases. We hope this blog provides valuable insight into the complexities surrounding international child abduction cases. This blog is not legal advice. It is an advertisement.

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