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3 things you should know about the Hague Convention

When parents are going through a divorce and enduring a custody battle that has become contentious, they may be feeling desperate to keep their children with them at any cost. Some parents feel it is urgent that their ex not get custody, regardless of what is right for the child, and this urgency may motivate them to act illegally. In extreme cases, parents may even kidnap their own children in order to prevent the other parent from gaining custody.

The Hague Convention was established in order to address such situations. Passed in 1980, it is a treaty that created the protocol for returning children whose parents abduct them and flee to another country. There are a few things parents should know if they are in this situation or in the midst of a custody dispute. 

It does not include every country

The Hague Convention Conference includes an impressive 83 members. Still, though, this is not every country in the world. It is important to remember that the Hague Convention is only applicable when both the country of origin and the country of abduction are members. A parent who is in a situation where the Convention is not applicable may have other options for legal recourse.

Parent must initiate proceedings

The parent whose former partner has fled with their child to another country must take action if the Hague Convention does apply. He or she must contact the embassy and law enforcement within his or her home country.

The intent is to protect children

The Hague Convention protects children. Sometimes parents are a danger to their own children, and abducting children internationally could place them at risk of trafficking and other harmful possibilities. The Convention’s protocols provide legal recourse for parents to recover their kidnapped children.