Los Angeles and Southern California have millions of residents that come from other nations, and who have deep roots overseas. For some parents facing a divorce, the fact that their spouse was born in another country or has family in another country, instills fear of an international parental child abduction. For some, this is a very real and present threat.
If you fear that your spouse will take your child and flee the United States, you should become familiarized with the Hague Abduction Convention, which is a treaty that the United States and many other countries have joined in order to combat international child abductions.
The Convention was created with the purpose of protecting children from the harmful effects of an international abduction by a parent. The Convention achieves this protection by encouraging the prompt return of an abducted child to their country of habitual residence. Essentially, the Convention addresses how custody and visitation matters are to be handled when such matters cross international borders.
Under the Convention, child custody and
visitation matters should be decided by the court in the country where the child has lived most of the time.
Some factors to remember:
- A U.S. court order may not be recognized in another country.
- Since each country is a sovereign nation, they cannot interfere with each other's legal systems or law enforcement.
- Each country has jurisdiction in its own territory, and over the people who are present within its borders.
With the above factors in mind, the Convention has established a legal mechanism for member countries to work together on international child abduction cases, despite the legal challenges that exist.
To learn more about filing a Hague application, and the nations involved in the treaty, call Cleary & Green, LLP for the legal support you and your children need!