Hague Convention Attorneys in Action

At Masters Law Group, our Hague Convention attorneys have extensive experience handling complex international disputes.

Navigating international family law can be complex and challenging, especially when it comes to child abduction disputes. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, aka the Hague Convention, is an international treaty that protects children from parental abduction across international borders. This blog will highlight rulings demonstrating the Convention’s effectiveness in resolving cross-border disputes.

Join us as we explore the legal framework, showing how it translates into real-world victories and how our Hague Convention attorneys can assist you. Here’s what you need to know.


The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction was enacted into law through the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (“ICARA”). It provides that a parent whose child has been wrongfully removed from the U.S. can petition for the child’s return to their country of habitual residence. Each country appoints central authorities to help resolve these disputes. As of 2024, there are 91 countries involved in the Hague Convention.

Families need to understand the importance of the Hague Convention when they find themselves involved in international disputes. Here are some tips to follow if you find yourself in this situation:

  • Prompt action is crucial: If you believe your child has been wrongfully removed or retained in a Hague Convention country, it is essential to act promptly. Initiating legal proceedings increases the chances of a successful resolution.
  • Contact the central authority: In the United States, the Office of Children’s Issues within the U.S. Department of State is the foremost authority for Hague Convention matters. They can provide information, resources, and assistance locating and returning your child.
  • Gather evidence: It is essential to gather evidence demonstrating your child’s habitual residence and the wrongful removal or retention. Documentation such as birth certificates and communication records can strengthen your case.
  • Consulting with a family law attorney: A family law attorney with experience in Hague law is recommended. They can guide you through the legal process and help you navigate the complexities of the Hague Convention.

Dealing with international disputes can be emotionally demanding, so preparing for the challenges is essential. Working with a Hague Convention attorney can provide valuable support. Now, let’s explore some recent Hague Convention cases to see how these principles are applied in real-world situations.


In our most recent case that concluded on February 20, 2024, the husband – represented by Masters Law Group –  filed a petition to return his two children. His children were taken from his residence in Colombia to the United States by their mother. The parties were married in the United States in 2012 and lived together in Colombia. 

The Respondent took the children to the U.S. for a family reunion but faced delays in their passport renewal. This case arises under the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA), 42 U.S.C. § 11601 et seq., which implements the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

This Act allows a person whose child has been removed from his custody in another country and taken to the United States to petition in federal or state court for the return of the child. The court would later find in favor of the Petitioner, concluding that the Respondent wrongfully retained the children and dismissing her claim of grave risk of harm. The Petitioner’s request for the return of the children to Colombia is granted.


In the Eastern District of Wisconsin / Mexico, Hinnendael, the father of the children (Petitioner), sought to relocate his children back to the United States from Mexico against the other parent’s wishes.

The court found that returning the children would subject them to a grave risk of psychological harm or otherwise place them in an intolerable situation. Accordingly, the retention of children in the United States was not wrongful within the meaning of the Convention. The petition was denied, and this action was dismissed.

By invoking the Hague Convention, our attorneys successfully advocated for the children. This case helps highlight the effectiveness of the Hague Law in resolving child abduction cases and prioritizing the children’s welfare.


In the Northern District of Illinois / New Zealand, Ho, the husband – represented by our firm –  filed a petition for the return of his child. The child was taken from his residence in New Zealand to the United States by his wife – the mother of the child. As relevant here, the Hague Convention provides that a parent whose child has been wrongfully removed or retained in the United States may petition for the child’s return to their country of habitual residence.

By agreement of the parties and as required by the Convention, the court concludes that the child was a habitual resident of New Zealand at the time of the wrongful retention in the United States. The Petitioner exercised parental responsibility rights under New Zealand law, and this case did not establish the “grave risk” exception.

The court granted the petition for the child’s return to New Zealand and allowed an approximate one-week period to avoid any abrupt transition for the child. This case demonstrated the Hague Law’s role in helping ensure fairness, predictability, and respect for due process in international child abduction cases.


In the Northern District of Illinois / Lithuania, Sulcaite Masters Law Group helped resolve the wrongful removal of children. The courts considered the parents’ last shared intent to their child’s country of residence.

The Respondent and the Petitioner agreed that their children would reside in Chicago temporarily. After three years, they were to return to Lithuania, their country of origin.

However, as time passed, the children became acclimated to their new life in the United States. Their mother’s remarriage and new baby created a strong family bond, and Chicago gradually became their familiar home. Considering these factors, the court denied the Petitioner for the children’s return. The decision reflected a recognition of the children’s well-being and stability, prioritizing their best interests.

This case showcases the effective advocacy of our Hague Convention attorneys in navigating complex international disputes. The legal team successfully obtained a favorable outcome for the parties involved by presenting compelling evidence.


In the Northern District of California / Cyprus, the husband – represented by Masters Law Group –  filed a petition to return his child, who was taken from Cyprus to the United States by his wife – the child’s mother. The child’s father (Petitioner) had full parental rights to the child since his parents’ separation in 2014. The minor came to the United States for a six-week visit with his mother (Respondent) in California. At the end of the visit, the Petitioner came to collect his son but was unsuccessful.

Nearly one week after the scheduled meet-up went awry, the child’s father filed a Hague Convention plea. The court granted the petition and ordered the child to return to Cyprus in the custody of his father. In addition, the court did not impose a longer stay without agreement from both sides. The court ultimately ordered the return of a child under an action under U.S.C.S.C. § 9003.

These cases showcase our commitment to navigating international child abduction disputes and achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.


The Hague Convention continues to play a pivotal role in reuniting families affected by parental child abduction. At Masters Law Group, we understand the complexities of international child abduction disputes and the importance of finding a resolution that aligns with your objectives.

Our Hague Convention attorneys will tirelessly advocate for your interests and work towards a favorable outcome. We prioritize open communication with our clients and strive to provide personalized attention to address your concerns.

To learn more about how we can help you, schedule your complimentary consultation today.