Hague Convention: Timeline To Contest Children’s Removal
The Hague Convention is a treaty between countries that agree to cooperate and abide by one set of laws – the Hague Convention – for the return of children removed from their home country in custody disputes.
The Hague is implemented in the United States, though not every country has joined the Hague Convention. There are several articles of the Hague Convention, but this article only pertains to the procedures and time of the removal.
In order to start the process of the return of an abducted child, you must fill out an application with the Central Authority of the child’s habitual residence. The application must contain information concerning the identity of the child, and the person who has removed the child.
You will need to provide the grounds on which your application is based and all the information available as to the whereabouts of the child. You must provide an authenticated copy of any prior orders concerning the child.
If the Central Authority receives an application that has been made less than one year from the date of the wrongful removal to the date of the commencement of the proceedings before the judicial or administrative authority, the authority concerned shall order the return of the child.
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Where the proceedings have been commenced after the expiration of one year, the authority shall order the return of the child unless it is determined that the child is now settled in its new environment.
The authority of the requesting state is not bound to order the return of the child if the person who opposes the return establishes that the person who made the application to return the child was not exercising custody rights at the time of the removal or consented or subsequently acquiesced in the removal.
The authority may also refuse to order to return the child if it finds that the child objects to being returned and has attained an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to consider their views.
For a more in depth discussion and advice on the Hague Convention, I urge you to contact a divorce lawyer.
By Robin Klein