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.