Issues of international child abduction

It’s not uncommon for a Missouri resident to get involved and marry someone from another country. If an international couple should have children and later separate, many issues could arise. In some cases, one parent will take their child and move abroad. The laws that are applied and the protections conferred depend on whether the countries involved are part of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction. This is a treaty that has been ratified by 98 countries.

The treaty states that member countries must return the children to their country of habitual residence immediately if a parent takes their child without the court’s permission to another country. There are specific facts establishing what ‘habitual residence” means in those cases. The country of habitual residence then also sets up the custody rights. This is particularly important in cases of international abduction by a parent.

Other factors that might affect how these cases are addressed within each country are the country’s own laws. In some countries, for example, unwed fathers might not have any custodial rights to their children. Therefore, they won’t have any recourse if a partner takes their children without their permission. Additionally, if the country to which the children were taken is not a member of the treaty, child custody solutions might be much more difficult. In these cases, the options for having the children returned might be very limited.

When it comes to custody issues, parents might find the guidance of a family law lawyer helpful. Legal counsel could help a client understand the options available and represent them in negotiations with the other parent and in court appearances.

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