The Hague Convention protects children from international parental abduction and returns them to their home country residence. It can also include child custody conflicts when a parent or guardian resides in a different country to the home country of the child.
Going through a divorce is never easy, especially when children are involved. However, things can get even more complicated when one parent tries to take the children across international borders. Parents are often left in a legal quagmire with high stakes and convoluted laws in these cases. But you don’t have to face it alone. The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction helps navigate these complex custody cases.
In this blog, we will delve into the details of The Hague Convention and how Masters Law Group can assist. Keep reading to discover everything you need about this crucial legal resource.
Understanding The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
The International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA) rules how U.S. courts implement the Hague Convention. The Convention applies in cases where a child has been wrongfully removed from their habitual residence without parental consent. Hague Law establishes a Central Authority in each partner country to act as a point of contact for parents and children in international child custody cases. The Central Authority helps with the following:
- Be the point of contact for parents and children in international child custody cases.
- Help locate abducted children.
- Encourage solutions that work for both parents.
- Submit documents as part of the application are admissible in courts in partner countries.
Understanding how the Hague framework operates is crucial; let’s dive into who the Hague Convention applies to.
What Countries Are a Part of The Hague Convention?
It’s important to note that the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction applies only to countries that have signed and ratified it. As of 2023, there are currently 91 signatory countries, but it’s essential to consult with a Hague lawyer to determine whether the Convention applies to your case.
For a full list of participating treaties, click here.
Additionally, the Hague Convention only applies to children under the age of 16. Some signatory countries may have different age limits or apply the Convention to older children. It’s crucial to understand that the Hague Convention’s primary goal is to promote the return of wrongfully removed children to their country of habitual residence. To navigate complex legal proceedings in the country where your child habitually resides, seeking guidance from a Hague lawyer is highly recommended.
Hiring A Hague Lawyer
Attorneys experienced in The Hague Convention are crucial when it comes to navigating international child abduction. If you are concerned that your child may be at risk of abduction, it’s essential to take proactive measures to protect them. An experienced Hague Convention lawyer can help you assess the risk of abduction and develop a plan to safeguard your child’s well-being.
Some preventative measures that your attorney may recommend include:
- Obtaining a custody order or parenting plan that specifies each parent’s rights and responsibilities, including travel restrictions.
- You request that your child’s name be added to a watchlist to prevent them from being removed from the country without your consent.
- Obtain a court order that requires surrendering your child’s passport or restricts international travel.
- Establish security measures and emergency protocols by working with your child’s school or daycare.
If you are concerned about the possibility of parental child abduction, contact your family law attorney immediately to discuss your options and develop a plan that will help ensure your child’s safety.
Working With Masters Law Group
At Masters Law Group, our knowledgeable Hague lawyers are here to help you navigate the complex legal proceedings related to international child abduction, including coordinating with the Central Authority and representing you in court. Serving clients in Cook County and DuPage County Illinois, we can assist you in determining whether the Convention applies to your case – and how – based on the laws of the country where your child resides.
Our award-winning attorneys, Erin E. Masters and Anthony G. Joseph, have vast experience in international family law. You can rest assured we will work aggressively to advocate on your behalf.
As a testament to our experience, see some of our recent Hague decisions here:
- Efthymiou v. Labonte, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law
- Sulcaite, Memorandum Opinion, and Order
- Ho, Memorandum Opinion and Order
- Hinnendael, Decision, and Order
If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of international parental child abduction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to help you protect yourself and your children.