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What is the Hague Convention?

Child custody matters of any type can get messy and complicated. However, when the two parents are from different countries, such as the U.S. and Greece, a whole other layer of complexity can be added. All manner of different types of intricate laws could end up being relevant in such cases. International child custody matters cannot only end up dealing with the laws of nations, but also international treaties.

One particularly harrowing type of international child custody matter that some U.S. parents sadly face are international parental child abductions. This is when the other parent takes the child to a foreign country without authorization.

In international parental child abduction cases, one of the things that could end up playing a big role is the Hague Convention. Its full name is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. This is an international treaty dealing with these sorts of abductions. It creates a special set of processes for addressing abductions in which a child was taken from one of the partner countries to another. It is aimed at helping bring such matters to a swift conclusion and at getting a child back to the country they are supposed to be in.

This treaty’s mechanisms generally only apply when both of the countries the parental abduction involves are partners to the treaty. Greece is one of America’s treaty partners in the convention. It has been since June 1993. So, cases in which a child has been taken without permission from the U.S. to Greece by a parent could end up involving the Hague Convention and its mechanisms

There are a variety of different rules regarding whether the Hague Convention could be used in relation to a given abduction and how its various mechanisms can be used. When navigating complex matters, including Hague Convention matters, in connection to U.S. to Greece child abductions, a U.S. parent may find it extremely helpful to have the assistance of an attorney knowledgeable of the particulars of international child custody cases and the various laws that can apply in such cases.

Sources: U.S. Department of State, “International Parental Child Abduction - Important Features of the Hague Abduction Convention - Why the Hague Convention Matters,” Accessed Oct. 12, 2016

U.S. Department of State, “International Parental Child Abduction - U.S. Hague Convention Treaty Partners,” Accessed Oct. 12, 2016

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