When you’re married to someone who is a foreigner and decide to divorce, you may have concerns about the custody schedule you want to have with your children. Depending on how long your spouse has been in America, they may have little choice but to return back to their own country. They may not yet be a permanent resident, or they may choose to leave.
The scary thing for some parents is the idea that their children could be taken out of the country and never returned. That’s why the Hague Convention was created. This is a treaty that many countries around the world recognize. The purpose of the convention is to protect children from being abducted and taken to a foreign country. The convention encourages returning the children to their country of habitual residence and helps secure and organize the right to have access to a child.
Overall, the Hague Convention tries to make it so that visitation matters are always handled in the court with jurisdiction in the child’s country of habitual residency.
Do you need the Hague Convention if you have a custody order?
You could. For example, if your child is taken to England from America and you’re struggling to have them returned to you, you may try to use your court order. If the court won’t recognize it for any reason, the Hague Convention is still there to ask the country to abide by the order and return the child to their country of habitual residence. With the convention, it’s established that nations should not interfere with the judiciaries, law enforcement agents or legal systems of other countries.
The Hague Convention is what creates a way for countries to work together
Thanks to the Hague Convention, there is a framework for countries to work together in international abduction cases. For example, every country that is part of the Hague Convention has a central authority that becomes the primary point of contact for parents and the agents who are involved in the case. This authority is responsible for finding abducted children and to try to encourage a reasonable, amicable solution when there is a parental abduction case in play.
If your child is missing, there is nothing more terrifying. However, laws like the Hague Convention are here to help and can give you the legal backing that you need to bring your child home after a case of parental kidnapping.