What is the Hague Convention?

A gavel resting near a sign that says "family court"

Handling International Issues

Child custody cases are already challenging to work through, but they become even more difficult when the child is taken overseas to another nation. International abduction is a scary matter, and thankfully there are measures in place to help those in these situations resolve their cases. Read on to learn more about the Hague Convention.

International Child Custody

The Hague Convention) is a multilateral treaty that provides an expeditious method to return children who have been taken from their country of normal residence by a parent or other guardian. The Convention seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and to ensure their prompt return to their homes so that their welfare can be properly considered.

The Hague Convention applies only when:

  • The child has been wrongfully removed or retained; and

  • The child is under the age of 16 years old; and

  • The child is a national of a Contracting State (one that upholds the Hague Convention); and

  • The child habitually resided in a Contracting State before the wrongful removal or retention.

The Convention does not apply if:

  • More than one year has passed since the date of the wrongful removal or retention unless the abducting parent has successfully concealed the whereabouts of the child from the left-behind parent; or

  • The parent left behind consented to, or subsequently acquiesced in, the removal or retention; or

  • There are grave risks to the child's physical or psychological health if returned; or

  • Returning would place the child in an intolerable situation.

The Convention does not determine which parent has custody of the child or what visitation rights the non-custodial parent has. The purpose of the Convention is to secure the prompt return of abducted children so that national authorities can properly consider their welfare in accordance with domestic law.

Get the Help of a Child Custody Attorney

If you are planning on relocating overseas with your children, it is important to understand the Hague Convention and how it may impact your case. If you have questions or are unsure of how to proceed, it is wise to reach out to a child custody attorney who can answer your questions and help you determine how to proceed. At TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP, our team can help you plan the best course of action and meet your needs and the needs of your child.


Learn more or schedule a consultation by calling us at (310) 455-8364 or by visiting us online.

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