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International child abduction

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Custody, Divorce Law

For those dealing with child custody issues, you know that there are a million issues to resolve. However, for those dealing with international child custody issues, they know that there are actually a million other issues to worry about as well. If one parent should abscond with your child, there is an international child abduction resolution legal order already in place in many countries, including in the United States.

The Hague Convention

The backbone of the international child abduction resolution legal order is the Hague Convention, originally known as the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This treaty was entered into back in 1980, but now has 101 contracting states that sets the international order for returning children to their country of origin when they are wrongfully removed or kept from their home country.

United States statutes

The Hague Convention was enacted into law by the International Child Abduction Remedies Act. Then, international child abduction was made a felony offense under the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act.

To help Lancaster, Pennsylvania, courts and courts throughout the country with international child custody issues and divorce, the Hague Convention set out principals that were included in the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act and Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. These acts clearly outlined jurisdiction to discourage competing child custody orders.

United States Supreme Court

After the statutes were enacted, they were recognized by the United States Supreme Court in Abbott v. Abbott, 130 S.Ct. 1983, 176 L.Ed.2d 789 (2010). This case gave parents direct rights under the convention. And, under Chafin v. Chafin, 133 S.Ct. 1017, 185 L.Ed.2d 1 (2013), the Court maintained a parent’s right to appeal, even if a child was returned under a convention order. And, equitable tolling was eliminated from Article 12 of the Hague Convention by Lozano v. Alvarez, 134 S.Ct. 1224, 188 L.Ed.2d 200 (2014).

International child abduction help

For those worried about international child abduction or dealing with it now, The International Child Abduction Database or INCADAT can help. It is a searchable database that contains a full list of judgments, decisions and legal analysis of convention decisions in English, French and Spanish. However, a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, attorney’s help is always available as well.