Protecting Your Children In Interstate And International Child Abduction Cases

Helping reunite parents and children

Few things can be more devastating than learning that your child has been abducted by a parent. Typically, you will not know what to do or who to turn to for help and unfortunately law enforcement agencies are so unfamiliar with state and federal laws that they do not consider it a crime. The Marin Law Firm, P.A. can help parents recover children from other states and countries around the world. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we provide compassionate, attentive legal services to help minimize your anxiety. If your child has been taken across state lines or out of the country, we relentlessly pursue your child's return.

Interstate child abduction

There are laws in place to prevent interstate abduction by parents and to prevent the parent from delaying the return of the child. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) limits the jurisdiction of custody matters to one state and provides for expedited enforcement and pick-up orders of the child to return to the home state. It also establishes uniform criteria for determining jurisdiction. The UCCJEA requires the state to decline jurisdiction where the abducting parent has taken the child.

The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) provides the federal enforcement mechanism to ensure that states honor the custody and interstate relocation decisions of other states. Although rarely used in litigation, the PKPA requires courts to enforce, rather than to modify, the custody and visitation orders of other states. Once a state exercises jurisdiction, no other state may exercise concurrent jurisdiction.

International child abduction

Globalization and cross-cultural or international marriages are on the rise. When these marriages end in divorce, international relocation and abduction by the noncustodial parent suddenly becomes a real possibility. Many international child abductions are governed by The Hague Convention, which was adopted to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention, to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to their habitual residence and to secure protection of parental rights to access the child.

The Marin Law Firm, P.A. most recently has secured the rights of a parent who was served a Petition For Return of Child to Petitioner who resided in Australia.