Abduction cases involving a parent who takes their child to another country can be devastating to New York families. Fortunately, the United States, among other countries, is a member of the Hague Abduction Convention treaty, which protects children from international abduction by a parent. Under the Convention, if a child is reported as abducted, they will be promptly returned to their country of residence if the foreign country is a member of the Convention. Additionally, the Convention also deals with custody and visitation of the child in their country of residence.
What are the central provisions of the Hague Convention?
The Convention has created a framework on how two countries can work to solve abduction cases. Here are some features:
- Each country needs to have a Central Authority that will handle all contact regarding the abduction.
- The Central Authority will lead efforts in getting to the abducted child. Once the Central Authority locates the child, they will return them to the country of residence.
- Any documents collected by the Central Authority are usable in a foreign country as court evidence.
- The countries in the Convention need to agree on the country of origin of the abductee. Thus, you will need proof of child custody and support.
What are the cases solved by the Hague Abduction Convention?
Although most abduction cases can be solved under the Hague Convention, filing a claim is not an assurance that the child will return. To qualify you must show that:
- The child is under 16 years old.
- The child habitually resided in one Convention country and a parent moved them to another Convention country.
- The move violated your custodial rights.
If your child was and taken to a member of the Hague Abduction Convention, act fast and consult an attorney. Attorneys experienced in child custody could help you navigate international laws for the return of your child.