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When family law cases require the Hague Convention

Minnesota child custody cases can become incredibly difficult when a children or children are taken out of the country and separated from one parent without permission, but the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction details what happens during international custody matters. More than 90 countries including the United States are signatories to the treaty that deals with wrongful international child abductions.

Such an abduction can when one parent goes against a court order, and action needs to be taken under the treaty to ensure that the child is returned or that the other parent receives visitation rights. The federal statute that implements the Hague Convention is called the International Child Abduction Remedies Act.

The Hague Convention provides that a child under 16 years of age must be returned immediately if less than a year has passed since the date the child was taken. It is discretionary if a year or more has passed since the date of the abduction. The objecting parent can file a petition in either federal or state court, but it is not always granted. There are strict time limits in which to file an appeal if the petition is denied. While the amount of time can vary from state to state, federal rules require the appeal to be filed no later than 30 days after the judgment has been entered.

A custodial parent who is embroiled in a child custody dispute with the other parent who has family or other ties to a foreign country may want to speak with an attorney to see what steps to take. There could be a possibility of requesting the U.S. State Department to provide notification if a passport application has been filed for the child by the other parent.

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