Hague Convention

Minneapolis Hague Convention Attorney

International Child Custody Disputes

This issue arises when parents from different countries separate or divorce and need to decide on the custody of their children. It can also arise in an international child abduction where a child is taken from the U.S. and retained in another country by a parent or family member. The objective of the abductor could be to gain an advantage in pending child custody proceedings. The challenge here is determining which country's laws will govern the custody arrangements.

The Hague Abduction Convention

The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH). It provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another. It works by ensuring that the child is returned to their habitual residence, where issues of custody and welfare can be resolved.

To apply for the Hague Convention, one typically needs to file a Hague Application. This starts with determining if the Hague Abduction Convention is an option for your specific case. 

Cases That Are Governed by the Hague Abduction Convention

The Hague Abduction Convention can be applied when:

  • Your child, who usually resides in one country, has been wrongfully taken to or kept in another country; both countries are a part of the Convention.
  • The act of removing or retaining your child is deemed wrongful if it breaches your rights of custody. 
  • These rights must have been exercised at the time when the child was taken or retained or would have been exercised if the child hadn't been taken or retained.
  • The Convention must have been in effect between the two involved countries at the time of the wrongful removal or retention. The dates this came into effect vary from country to country. Note: When a country joins the Convention, it doesn't automatically establish a treaty partnership with all other member countries. Each country must accept the new member's accession to the Convention as per the terms outlined in the Convention before a treaty partnership is formed.
  • The child involved in the case is younger than 16 years old.

Once these prerequisites are met, you can then proceed with filing an application that includes all relevant evidence and documents to support your claim.

Not all countries are signatories to the Hague Convention. Currently, 98 countries are contracted to the convention. The convention applies only between contracting states and only to wrongful removals or retentions occurring after the country’s entry. It is essential to verify whether the countries involved in your case are part of the convention.

Choose Sobol Family Law for Your International Custody Case

Brian is experienced in resolving intricate matters involving international family law. He can provide invaluable assistance throughout the process by helping you navigate the complexities of various jurisdictions, laws, and procedures. 

If you need legal help with an international issue or dispute, contact Sobol Family Law to discuss your case one-on-one with Brian as soon as possible. 

Need Legal Guidance? Contact Sobol Family Law Today.

Award-Winning Representation
Brian is the only lawyer so ranked in Minnesota who is also a diplomate in the American College of Family Trial Lawyers, a by-invitation only group of 100 of the top family trial lawyers in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an equally select group of the top family lawyers in the nation. Get his experience on your side today.


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