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International Child Abduction Attorneys

internation child abduction

What is International Child Abduction?

Disputes over child custody can be difficult to resolve, no matter the situation. However, when parents are from different countries, some especially complex issues may arise, including situations where a parent may choose to move outside the United States with their children without receiving approval from the other parent or obtaining permission from a family court. Even if a parent believes that they have a legitimate reason to move to another country, situations where children are relocated away from a parent may involve claims of international child abduction. Parents who are looking to maintain contact with their children and ensure that their best interests will be protected will need to work with an attorney who understands the laws that affect international child custody.

The lawyers of Farooqi & Husain Law Office work with parents and other family members to address multiple different types of legal issues. We provide strong and effective representation in family law cases, and with our experience in matters such as Islamic divorce, immigration, and contentious child custody disputes, we can ensure that our clients' rights will be protected. We can make sure the laws of the United States and international laws related to child custody will be followed, and we will help parents take the correct steps to protect their children's best interests and avoid irreparable harm to family relationships.

Understanding International Child Abduction Laws

In cases involving international child custody disputes, the laws in both countries may need to be considered. If children originally lived in the United States, and parents were separated or divorced prior to when a parent moved with their children to another country, a parent will usually be able to take legal action in their county court to address matters related to the allocation of parental responsibility and parenting time. However, if children are currently located in another country, the decisions made in a U.S. court may be difficult to enforce.

In cases where a parent wrongfully removed children from one country and took them to another country, the other parent may seek to have children returned to their original country so child custody matters can be addressed. A treaty known as the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction may apply in these situations. If a child is taken to a country that is a signatory of the Hague Convention, the parent in the United States may request that local courts take action to return the children to the U.S.

The Hague Convention applies in situations where a child was wrongfully removed from a country where they had been a "habitual resident." When determining whether a child was a habitual resident of the United States, courts may look at how long the family had lived in their community, where the child had attended school or spent time in the care of family members or child care providers, and the parents' intentions for where they expected children to live. In cases where a family resided in the U.S. prior to the parents' divorce or separation, habitual residence will most likely apply, and a parent will be prohibited from removing children from the country without first receiving approval from a family court judge.

Hague Convention cases may also look at whether a child's removal from the United States was "wrongful." If parents had a child custody agreement in place, a parent's choice to move to another country may have violated the other parent's rights to share in child custody. However, courts may also look at whether a parent actually exercised their child custody rights. If a parent had not been involved in making decisions for their children and did not spend regular parenting time with the children according to the schedule detailed in the couple's parenting agreement, they may not be able to prevent the other parent from relocating to another country with their children.

Contact Our Oakbrook Terrace International Child Abduction Lawyers

If you need to address matters related to international child abduction, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel. Farooqi & Husain Law Office can help you understand your rights under the Hague Convention, and we will assist you in taking the necessary steps to protect your children's best interests. Contact our office today at 630-909-9114 to schedule a consultation. We represent clients in DuPage County, Cook County, Will County, and Kane County.

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