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International Child Abduction Defenses

International Child Abduction Defenses

Custody cases are endlessly complex, even more so when they go international. When a parent moves a child from their home country to another or retains the child in the other country, he or she is likely to face backlash for violating international child abduction law.

Established in 1980, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides civil remedies to return children who have been wrongfully removed or retained from their home country. This allows the parent who was left behind to apply for the return of their child so the courts can then determine whether the child was unlawfully removed from their country of habitual residence.

If you are facing litigation for the wrongful removal or retention of your child, these defenses may apply:

  • The child has settled into the new country. Examples include an established schedule, school or daycare attendance, nearby relatives, the abducting parent’s employment or financial status, etc. This defense applies if no petition to return the child is filed prior to 1 year of the removal, and only after the left behind parent locates the child.
  • The left-behind parent consented to the child’s removal.
  • The child will suffer from physical or psychological harm if he or she returns. This is known as the “grave risk” defense and is only applicable in extreme cases.
  • The child has reached a level of maturity and objects to being returned. There is no standard age as defined by the Hague convention.
  • Returning the child will violate fundamental human rights and freedoms. Proving this rare defense is extremely difficult.

Seeking a Compassionate & Experienced Queens Immigration Lawyer? Contact Us Today

At Musa-Obregon Law PC, we are proud to represent families in need of trusted advocacy. Our Queens immigration attorneys are fearless in the face of adversity and strive to deliver our clients the most beneficial outcome possible, regardless of any obstacles in our way. Allow our strongminded legal team to fight for you today.

Contact us by calling (888) 502-8461 at your earliest convenience.


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