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International child abduction in custody cases

Many people in Colorado travel to foreign countries for business, education or tourism. As the world becomes increasingly connected, more children are being born into multinational families. When these marriages end in divorce, there can be some serious custody disputes if the parents do not agree to live in the same country.

Ninety-eight countries around the world have signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction since May 2018. In a case where one person has taken his or her child to another country without the other parent’s permission, the Hague Convention would be used to determine whether the child should be returned. According to the Hague Convention treaties, the country from where an abducted child was removed has jurisdiction over custody rights as long as that country was where the child kept his or her habitual residence.

If a child was taken to a country that has not signed the Hague Convention, custody disputes can be more complex. There can also be disputes over jurisdiction, even in Hague Convention countries, if the child’s habitual residence is not clear. There are some nations that do not recognize any parental custody rights for unmarried fathers.

There are many elements that can complicate an international child custody dispute, especially when the parents are not communicating with each other. A person who believes that his or her child has been abducted to another country may want to speak to a lawyer about the situation as soon as possible. If legal action is taken in a timely manner, there may be less of a possibility that the child’s habitual residence will change in the eyes of the law.

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