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How does the Hague Convention work?

When two people have a child, and they later split up or divorce, it's not uncommon for the couple to disagree about who should get to keep the child. These disagreements are usually resolved by the court. But what if one of the parents decides to leave the country with the child and take him or her overseas?

In this situation, it might be difficult for the law-abiding spouse to get his or her child back. This is due to the differences in foreign laws as they relate to child custody. A foreign country might choose to give the parent who kidnapped the child full custody -- even if a family law court in the United States awarded the other parent with custody.

However, if the country where the child was taken is a Hague Convention nation, the law-abiding parent may have a better chance of getting his or her child back. The Hague Convention is an international treaty that numerous countries around the world have signed. In signing and ratifying the treaty, participating nations agree to honor the child custody rulings of foreign nations.

Imagine a Japanese man escapes from the United States back to Japan with his child after a U.S. family law court ruled that the mother should have full physical custody of the child. Under the Hague Convention, the U.S. mother could arrange for the return of her child by asking the Japanese government to honor her U.S. custody order.

Was your child taken overseas without your permission by the other parent? You may be able to use the Hague Convention to get your son or daughter back. An experienced Clarksville child custody lawyer can help you learn more about your legal rights and options in this regard.

Source: FindLaw, "What is the Hague Convention?," accessed Sep. 28, 2017

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