Are you headed toward divorce and for some reason, you’re worried that your spouse is going to take your child to another country? Or, are you already split from your child’s other parent, but you’re concerned that he or she will jump on a plane and take your child abroad? In either scenario, what you’re worried about is called “international parental child abduction” and it can be a horrifying scenario indeed.
What is international parental child abduction exactly? It’s where one parent removes their child from the child’s habitual residence – in this case, the United States – in violation of the other parent’s child custody rights.
Hague Abduction Convention
If you are worried that your child’s other parent will take your child to another country, you’ll want to become familiar with the Hague Abduction Convention, a treaty between numerous countries designed to encourage the quick return of children who have been removed from their country of residence by one parent. To see the list of U.S. Hague Convention treaty partners, click here.
If your child’s other parent has yet to take your child out of the country, but you suspect that is their intention, follow these prevention tips:
- Be proactive. If you think your ex is going to take your child, the time to take action is now.
- Go to family court and get a custody order that addresses passports and travel restrictions.
- Contact an attorney to explore your legal options. We strongly encourage you to contact us to discuss your circumstances so we can find the best solutions, which may include obtaining a court order that says your child cannot be taken out of the U.S.
- Look for red flags that your ex is planning on leaving the country, such as quitting their job, selling their belongings and automobile, etc.
- Contact your local law enforcement and provide them with copies of child custody and restraining orders.
If you have concerns about a possible international parental child abduction, we urge you to contact Malinowski Hubbard at once at (703) 935-4222 for legal assistance.