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International Custody

A parent who shares custody with an opposing parent with ties to another country may agonize over the fear of a child being kidnapped. There have been several reported cases in the United States where one parent illegally transports a child across international borders. Often the child is not returned back to his/her birth country for many years.

The family law attorneys at Estelle & Kennedy, APLC, are knowledgeable in the area of International Custody Law. These laws provides a course of action to safeguard a child from an unlawful abduction by an opposing parent. There are several laws that can impact custody disputes across state and national borders. One such law is the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA),  a federal law affecting international and interstate custody disputes.  This act strictly forbids the kidnapping of children by parents across state and national borders. In addition, the Hague Convention is a powerful international treaty designed to transport a child from the country where he/she is being held and returned to the birth country. Some countries are more apt to enforce this treaty than are others such as: the UK, Australia, and New Zealand most often return children quickly. Germany, France, Mexico, Colombia, and Austria typically act at a much slower pace.

Estelle & Kennedy, APLC, will assist parents, early-on, who fear for the safety of a child/children who face the threat of kidnapping. Prior to appearing in court, a highly qualified attorney will see that the parent is equipped with expert testimonies or affidavit stating  the dangers to the child/children in question being allowed to visit the proposed country. Estelle & Kennedy, APLC, attorneys will aggressively work to establish the knowledge of a countries failure to comply with the rules and regulations that govern the Hague Convention on international child abduction.

One “red flag” that may alert a parent that an attempt at a child abduction is imminent, is a proposed visitation or vacation to a particular country from the opposing parent. Estelle & Kennedy, APLC, attorneys acting on behalf of the parent will collect and compile hard evidence supporting the danger that the proposed visitation presents.