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Protecting your child: The International Hague Convention

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2017 | Child Custody

As a parent of a child who has two parents from different countries, you know that your divorce has more custody concerns than others. You may worry that your spouse will take your child to his or her country and fail to bring your little one home. You could worry that your child will disappear and that you’ll have no way to fight back.

Fortunately, the International Hague Convention protects you and your child. This is a treaty among different countries that aims to reduce the negative effects of child kidnapping. It helps assist in bringing your child home after he or she is taken beyond national boundaries.

What is the main purpose of the International Hague Convention?

The primary purpose is to help return children who were wrongfully removed from a country to their homes. The convention also ensures that custody rights of parents are recognized among contracting states included in the International Hague Convention.

What does a contracting state have to do if a child is taken to it?

A contracting state has to implement the convention to the best of its ability within its territories. The International Hague Convention requires that this happen as quickly as possible.

How does a country know to implement the International Hague Convention rules?

If it’s shown that a child was wrongfully removed from a person’s or institution’s custody in a contracting state, then the country must consider the removal wrongful and implement the convention’s rules. The International Hague Convention only applies when children are under the age of 16. Once they reach 16, the contracting state no longer has to consider the convention.

Your situation could vary, depending on the countries involved. For example, the United States and Canada work strongly together on cases of child abductions. Other countries that are not part of the Hague Convention don’t necessarily have to conform to the standards of this convention and may not take steps to return a child to his or her original custodian.

If your child is taken to a country not part of the Hague Convention, the United States government can still place pressure on that country’s government to return your child to the United States. There may be a number of things you can do to help bring your child home. A local Texas attorney can help you understand all the international laws and regulations that apply to your case, so you can work to bring your child home where he belongs.


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