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Did your foreign ex take your child overseas?

An ex-spouse from a foreign country might not have the same respect for U.S. child custody laws as you do. The spouse may feel that he or she has the right to keep your children beyond the agreed-upon visitation time. The court system in the person's home country might even have supported your ex to this effect.

This is where the Hague Convention comes into play. The Convention is a treaty between countries that ensures the countries will honor the child custody orders of other countries.

How international parental child abduction happens

The universal language of love knows no bounds. Some Colorado residents have fallen in love and married people from other countries, even people with whom they don't speak the same language. However, just like many love stories, yours may have come to an end in divorce.

When children are involved, though, certain aspects of your love story will never come to an end. Negotiating parenting with a foreign ex can be difficult, and your children may need to travel overseas to visit their other parent, but what happens if the foreign parent decides to keep them there?

How the Hague Convention can help in cases of international child abduction

The Hague Convention may be able help in circumstances of international parental child abduction. If the country has signed and ratified the Convention, you might be able to use it to get your children back.

  • Were visitation rights established in the child's home country? Does a court decision in the child's home country require that the child go back?
  • Every ratifying Hague Convention country must have a point of contact that parents can communicate with in the event of a parental abduction. This central authority will assist in locating children and assist in reaching an amicable solution between the parents. It will also assist in returning the children.
  • Documents sent to the central authority will be admissible in foreign courts, and courts will remove formalities required for entering foreign documents.
  • The Convention allows parents to use proof from the legal system that governs the child's usual residence in foreign courts. In some cases, the parent may simply need to submit proof of marriage or parenthood to ensure his or her parental rights.

Not all countries have ratified the Hague Convention

The Hague Convention is a blessing to parents whose children were taken to a foreign country by another parent. However, not all foreign governments have ratified the Hague Convention. When a country hasn't ratified the Convention, the case will require a different kind of response.

If your ex took your child overseas unlawfully, a Colorado family law and child custody attorney can help you determine whether Hague Convention rules apply. Your lawyer will then employ different legal strategies to assist in getting your child back.

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