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Who can I call for help with an international abduction?

An international child abduction is a very serious and complex matter that requires expert representation and counsel. First, we must understand that these abductions take place into and out of every country, and not just the United States alone. They may take place both to and from the U.S.

A treaty known as The Hague Abduction Convention was formed among 76 countries for the purpose of creating one central authority in each country to help address these matters. This allows countries to work together in a fluid and seamless manner to facilitate the location and return of a child. The Hague Abduction Convention creates a centralized point of communication for government authorities, parents, and legal counsel. It is worth noting that through this agreement countries cannot interfere with court orders from another country.

U.S. based attorneys may only accept international abduction cases in which the child has been brought to the U.S. If the child was removed to another country, then a party would need to consult with an attorney in that country. However, a U.S. based attorney may still be a valuable asset in helping find and facilitate that connection.

A case that is filed as a Hague proceeding is considered completely separate from any and all other pending court matters. There are strict requirements that must be met for a case to be accepted. The guidance and counsel of an experienced child custody attorney is not only crucial but also required within a Hague proceeding. While the convention does offer a better chance of recovering an abducted child, it still does not guarantee the return. Acting quickly and efficiently will provide the best chance of a favorable outcome in any international abduction.

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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