What Is The Hague Convention? What Does It Do?

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Hague Convention) is a treaty that helps facilitate the return of children who are wrongfully removed by parents from their country of habitual residence or retained in another country. It was drafted in 1980 and has over 70 signatories, including the United States.

The Landers Firm, PLC, is well-respected in the Tennessee legal community for our work in international child abduction cases. Attorney Suzanne Landers has extensive knowledge and experience in these cases — a claim very few attorneys can make. She has a passion for helping parents who find themselves in this situation and will go to great lengths to help return their children into their arms.

If your child was the victim of parental abduction or you suspect that he or she could be, it is time to contact our lawyers. Call our office in Memphis at 901-522-1010 or send us your contact information.

The Hague Convention Is Not A Custody Law

Many people assume that the Hague Convention helps decide which parent should have custody (residential parent determinations and parenting time in Tennessee). This is not the case, nor is there an international family court with power to make these decisions.

Each sovereign nation or country has its own legal system and power over its own citizens and cannot interfere with the law of another. Even if you have a custody/parenting order in Tennessee, courts in other countries may not recognize its validity.

By signing the treaty, a country agrees to work with another despite its own jurisdictional rules. They are required to have a central authority. Parents, attorneys and other parties involved in a potential abduction case can contact this authority or agency for help locating children. The agency is also supposed to help remove administrative barriers or formalities that could delay the process.

Contact Us As Soon As Possible, Because Not All Countries 'Play Nice'

Countries that have not signed the Hague Convention are not bound by its terms. Even signatories to the treaty can refuse to return a child or significantly delay the process. It is absolutely in your best interests to contact a lawyer as soon as possible in parental child abduction cases. This means talking to a lawyer even if you only suspect that the other parent could wrongfully remove or retain your child.

Call our law firm at 901-522-1010 or send us your contact information to schedule a consultation with our lawyers.