For parents seeking to establish or enforce child custody and visitation rights in other countries, or to have an abducted child returned to his or her country of habitual residence, the Hague Abduction Convention (HAC) may provide an effective remedy.
The HAC is a treaty that many countries, including the United States, have joined. The two main purposes of a Hague proceeding are to (1) protect children from the harmful effects of international abduction by promptly returning them to their country of habitual residence and (2) secure for parents the rights of access to a child.
International custody cases are complex. Court orders made in the United States may not be recognized in other countries because sovereign nations typically cannot interfere with each other’s legal systems or law enforcement. The point of the HAC is to cut through these challenges with a general acceptance that child custody and visitation matters should be decided by the proper court in the country of the child’s habitual residence.
The HAC provides a framework for countries to work together in specific ways to resolve international abduction cases with the goals of helping to locate abducted children, encouraging amicable solutions to parental abduction cases and helping to facilitate the safe return of children as appropriate. Whether a child should be returned to his or her habitual residence does not depend upon the immigration status or nationality of the child or parents.
If you are interested in pursuing a Hague Application, contact Hartley Lamas Et Al. to discuss whether your case meets the requirements to obtain the return of, or access to, your child through a Hague proceeding.