The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (commonly referred to as the Hague Convention) is a treaty that often affects families in international child custody disputes. The Hague Convention was created to protect children by designing a procedure recognized internationally for them to be prompt returned to their country of habitual residence, so their local courts can address and resolve issues regarding child custody.
As a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, our Senior Partner, J. Benjamin Stevens, is familiar with the provisions of the Hague Convention, and he handles international child abduction cases. It is important to understand that while child custody cases are all difficult, ones that involve international family law are extremely complex. Mr. Stevens and our firm are well prepared to address the challenges involved with Hague cases.
The Hague Convention is implemented in the United States under the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (referred to as ICARA), which can be found at 22 U.S.C. § 9001 et seq. This federal statute establishes procedures for bringing Hague Abduction Convention cases in United States courts, and authorizes the U.S. Central Authority to access federal databases to locate abducted children, among other provisions.
The International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) was signed into law by President Obama on August 8, 2014. ICAPRA is codified at 22 U.S.C. §§ 9101 – 9141, and its goals are to return abducted children as expeditiously as possible, to prevent new abductions, and to strengthen and expand the Hague Abduction Convention worldwide.
Addressing International Kidnapping Under the Hague Convention
The number of cases involving international parental abductions continues to grow. These cases involve situations where one parent sought to relocate with his / her children without the knowledge or consent of the other parent. If you are the “left-behind parent” and want your child returned under the Hague Convention, don't hesitate to contact our firm to discuss how we can help you with the following issues:
- Locating your child: We can help identify the best resources available to assist you in finding your child.
- Filing your case in the proper jurisdiction: Once we have located your child, we can advise you as to whether that country is a participating member in the Hague Convention and help you determine the best jurisdiction for your case to be heard.
- Advocating on your behalf at all stages of the process: We will represent you and protect your child custody rights and interests throughout this process.
It is important to keep in mind that Hague Convention cases are complex and can be time-consuming. Our experienced international child custody attorneys will do everything we can to effectively fight for your rights and to defeat any defenses raised by the other parent. If you have questions about international child abduction or custody cases, the Hague Convention process, or any related issues, you are invited to contact our office at (864) 598-9172 or [email protected] to request a consultation with Mr. Stevens.