The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. The powerful international treaty can yield beneficial results when implemented correctly and appropriately.
The Hague Convention has been in the headlines recently regarding the war with Russia and Ukraine. This has left many across the globe asking, “What is the Hague Convention?”.
The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“The Hague Convention”) was enacted into law through the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (“ICARA”), which provides that a parent whose child has been wrongfully removed from or retained in the United States may petition for the child’s return to his or her country of habitual residence.
The International Criminal Court in the Hague has issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin. It accuses him of being responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, including the unlawful deportation of children. Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Ms Maria Lvova-Belova, is also subject to an arrest warrant.
According to Ukraine, tens of thousands of possible war crimes have been carried out by Russian forces since they invaded Ukraine in February last year. The Hague Convention doesn’t just apply to war crimes; it also affects everyday civilians across the globe when their child has been wrongfully removed from their habitual residence.
Divorce and The Hague Convention
When parents divorce, deciding how to handle issues regarding their children can be intense. When parents originate from separate countries, these disputes can quickly become complicated, especially when one parent attempts to move children across international borders.
When this happens, you need a Hauge lawyer who is highly experienced in international law. They understand how to settle matters of jurisdiction involving courts in the United States and other countries across the globe (if these nations are a part of the convention).
The Hague Convention’s applicability can be determined by two factors:
(1) whether both parents have consented to their child’s removal from one country to another; or
(2) if a child has been wrongfully removed from one country and brought into another country without either parent’s consent.
Hauge Law is created in order to protect you and your family both nationally and internationally.
INITIATING THE PROCESS
Deciding whether to file a Hague application is an important decision and must be considered based on each case’s specific circumstances. Perhaps after separating from their partner, a parent wants to take their child and move to another country. Maybe a parent moved internationally in violation of a custody agreement.
Filing a case under the Convention does not guarantee that your child will be returned. To obtain the return of your child through a Hague proceeding, you must first be able to demonstrate the following:
- That your child was habitually resident in one Convention country and was wrongfully removed to or retained in another Convention country;
- The removal or retention of your child is considered wrongful if it was in violation of your custodial rights, and you were exercising those rights at the time of the removal or retention, or you would have been exercising them but for the removal or retention.
- The Convention must have been in force between the two countries when the wrongful removal or retention occurred (the dates are different for every country); (Note: In many instances, when a country accedes to the Convention, it is not automatically partners with all of the other countries who have ratified or acceded to the Convention. Countries must accept another country’s accession to the Convention under the terms described in the Convention before a treaty partnership is created.
- The child is under the age of 16.
WHY CHOOSE MASTERS LAW GROUP?
International custody issues can be incredibly difficult to deal with as a parent because of the concern you have for the safety and security of your child, and should be handled properly by a knowledgeable attorney.
Erin Masters and Anthony Joseph have extensive experience in cases involving international child custody disputes and kidnapping in both courts located in the State of Illinois and the United States federal court system.
Read the details of our most recent successful Hague Convention cases below. Furthermore, see what our clients have to say on representing their Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction case:
I had a very difficult case in the United States Federal Court. My ex husband filed a Petition against me under the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child abduction asking to return our two sons to Lithuania. Seeking for the legal representation, I was advised by the U.S. Department of State to contact lawyer Erin E. Masters. I was so lucky to have the team of the best lawyers Erin E. Masters and Anthony G. Joseph representing me in this difficult trial.
They represented with the highest standards of law, but also provided support and empathy through the process. The communication was fantastic, always answered every question, explained every situation and possible outcome. As it was a very fast track case, Erin and Anthony worked hard including weekends to prepare everything for the hearing. There was only one hearing and the Decision was totally in my favor. All my family, especially the kids, are very grateful! It is also fair to mention that the legal expenses for the amount of services provided was very very reasonable.
I will gladly recommend Erin Masters and Anthony Joseph to represent any of my friends and family in need of an excellent and highly professional family attorney.
— Aistė Šulcaitė
Instead of trying to figure out international law issues alone, contact the Family Law Attorneys at Masters Law Group. Serving clients in Cook County and DuPage County Illinois, our experienced team will help you navigate the legal complexities of your case and are committed to vigorously representing you in these frightening, high-stakes proceedings.
Featured Hague Decisions: