When to file a Hague application

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Child custody concerns are not always as straight-forward as what days of the week each spouse will take care of a child. In some cases, especially in contentious divorce battles, custody can quickly become complicated. With fear and anger motivating the decisions of either party, it has not been uncommon for one party to take the child from Florida and move to another country.

There exists something called the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. It involves numerous countries who have agreed to assist one another in terms of the international abduction of children and their return. The primary purpose of the civil law mechanism that is established with the Hague Convention is for parents to pursue the return of their child from a cooperating foreign countries. However, the child must have been taken in violation of the custodial rights of the parent pursuing their return.

You will need to decide whether or not it is a good idea to file a Hague application and whether the specifics around your case actually warrant their involvement. You will want to review your options as well as what is needed to file the application with the officer for the country your child has been absconded to.

Remember, the country’s officer cannot give legal advice and so it is imperative you speak with an attorney knowledgeable in international abduction cases in order to determine your best options and whether filing an application with the Hague Convention is the right move to make. It is an important decision, as is anything involving your child’s well-being and it is not one to made rashly.