In the prior post in our Plantation Family Law Blog, we wrote about a new piece of legislation that is currently making its way through Congress. The bill addresses the issue of parental child abduction cases in which the child was removed to a foreign country.
Since the United States does not have jurisdiction in foreign nations, a treaty known as the Hague Convention was drafted and signed by a number of countries to facilitate the return of children. One problem with this treaty is the lack of enforcement power when a country doesn't comply. The new legislation seeks to address this issue in order to close more cases with a happy ending, and do so in an effective, prompt manner.
Had this legislation been in place, a mother who recently had her children abducted in violation of a child custody order may have been able to do so with less complication.
This case involved an 11-year-old child and a 12-year-old child. The children lived with their mother in the United States, but they traveled to Russia to visit their father for the summer. Although the father had permission to have the children, the situation turned into an abduction case when he refused to return the children home to their mother.
After being denied access, the mother hired the assistance of an American security consultant to resolve the issue. Together, they got on a plane and attempted to grab the children at their school, but officials called the local police, eventually involving the U.S. Embassy. When everything was finally sorted out, the mother was lucky to be able to return with her children.
Although this case had a happy ending for the American mother, it could have gone a different way. Any type of custody issue is best resolved with the assistance of a family law attorney.
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune, "Children returned to mom in United States," Dec. 16, 2013