interstate & international child abduction Archives

International child abduction: defenses to a petition to return

It is nothing short of terrifying to discover that your child has been taken out of the country by his or her other parent in violation of a court-ordered custody arrangement. Yet, given the complexities of the situation, it can be difficult to figure out where to even start seeking the child's return. As we discussed in a previous post, the Hague Convention is the best tool to seek the return of a child who has been subjected to international abduction, but the return is not automatic.

We can help remedy interstate child abduction issues

Recently on the blog we discussed how the Hague Convention can be utilized to address matters of international child abduction. Successful utilization of this international law is crucial for those who are facing the unthinkable. Those whose children have been taken to another state or another country in contradiction of an existing child custody order are often afraid for their children's well-being and don't know where to turn for help. Although law enforcement's efforts may be beneficial, they are often confined within the bounds of their jurisdiction.

International abduction and the Hague Abduction Convention

Child custody arrangements can vary greatly case-by-case. In some instances, parents share time equally with their children, while other families see a custodial parent who significantly restricts a noncustodial parent's access. In today's highly mobile society, it isn't uncommon for custodial parents to seek to relocate with their children, which may not be inline with an established custody plan. Although these parents may be able to get court authorization for one of these moves, sometimes parents take their children across state lines or across international borders with the intent of disrupting a child custody arrangement. When this happens, abduction has occurred.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

Parents in Florida can go through a lot to reach a child custody and visitation arrangement that they feel meets their child's needs. While some of these issues can be hashed out during negotiations, sometimes they require litigation. Unlike other divorce legal issues, though, child custody disputes can arise a long time after they were initially settled. When one parent fails to abide by a court order regarding child custody and visitation, then child abduction may have occurred.

Know your parental rights in an international child abduction

Not all divorced couples with children are able to maintain an amicable co-parenting relationship. It can be especially complicated if your co-parent is of foreign nationality and wants to return to his or her home country with your children. While doing so is possible, he or she would have to first file a petition in court. Unfortunately, some parents assume that their American divorce orders will no longer apply in their home country, and sometimes parents try to take their children abroad against the other parent's rights and wishes.

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