The Hague Convention in New Jersey Parental Abduction Cases

The Hague Convention is an international treaty between certain countries that governs parental child abduction. This treaty provides a civil remedy to parents whose child was removed by the other parent without consent to a location outside of the United States and provides guidance to bring the child safely home.

The crossing of international borders can make parental kidnappings even more complex, but the Hague Convention can help facilitate a child’s return. If your child has been abducted by their other parent and brought overseas, a New Jersey attorney familiar with the Hague Convention in parental child abduction cases could guide you through the process of getting them back.

Scope of the Hague Convention

There are more than 100 countries that belong to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. This list is available at the US Department of State’s website and the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The number of countries is constantly being updated as new nations continue to ratify the convention and become official members.

The Hague Convention becomes applicable in New Jersey family law cases when a parent whose child has been abducted formally requests the return of the child through their local court, citing jurisdictional issues.

Because the United States is a party to the Hague Convention and New Jersey is part of the United States, if a child is abducted from another country to New Jersey, the state or federal judge will order the return of child if they determined that an abduction occurred. This gives a court and the left-behind parent a solution to return their child to their home country.

Abduction to Countries Outside the Hague Convention

If a country where a child has been abducted to is not part of the Hague Convention, the court will make the determination based on the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which employs similar regulations. UCCJEA applies to the states in the United States, but when a country is not a party to the Hague Convention, the standards of the UCCJEA are also applied to the foreign country.

However, these situations can be difficult because the country where the child has been taken will also apply its own standards and because every nation is sovereign, this can complicate the child’s return.

If the child is not immediately returned, the person seeking the return may have to fight it out in the local court under the laws of that country if they are trying to gain custody. The court would determine the home state of the child and whether or not New Jersey has jurisdiction. A skilled parental kidnapping lawyer in the area could attempt to negotiate the return of an abducted child even if one of the involved countries is not a member of the Hague Convention.

A New Jersey Attorney Could Explain the Hague Convention’s Role in Abduction Cases

One of the first things that a qualified legal professional could do in these cases is to analyze the specific circumstances to see whether the Hague Convention applies and whether there are other remedies for the child’s return that would be appropriate. They could also know how to file the application and act quickly.

A New Jersey attorney would be able to help the left-behind parent fill out the necessary applications with the court and consider interim relief and provisional remedies. They could work with an individual to prepare the factual presentation with the best chance of winning the case. If you are facing this situation and are feeling overwhelmed, let a lawyer knowledgeable about the Hague Convention in New Jersey child abduction cases fight for you. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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