Galveston County International Child Abduction Lawyers
Although most people are unaware of its prevalence, international child abduction by a parent occurs at an alarming rate. Fortunately, international treaties create a safeguard that allows for the safe return of many abducted children. At Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. our Galveston County international child abduction lawyers have handled numerous international child abduction cases and understand the emotional and stressful nature of these types of cases. Our lawyers are also well-versed in international law, so if you or a loved one believe that your child was taken to a foreign country, or brought into the U.S., in violation of a custody agreement, please contact our Galveston County office to schedule a confidential consultation.
The Hague Convention
In 1980, the U.S. entered into a treaty aimed at protecting children from being wrongfully removed from their home countries in violation of custody arrangements. Around 81 countries have signed the treaty, including:
- United Kingdom;
- Greece; and
By signing the treaty, each country agreed to take appropriate measures to return a child under the age of sixteen years old who has been removed from his or her home country in violation of a custody agreement. In particular, each treaty country must take the following actions:
- Discover the location of a wrongfully removed child;
- Prevent further harm to the child; and
- Secure the return of the child to his or her home country.
Filing a Claim
To begin the process of obtaining a child’s safe return, a custodial parent must apply to the designated Central Authority of the child’s home country, which in the U.S. is the Department of State. The petition is then transferred to the Central Authority in the foreign country where the child is located. The application must include the following:
- Information about the identity of the child as well as the identity of the person who allegedly removed or retained the child;
- The child’s date of birth;
- The grounds on which the claim is based; and
- All available information related to the location of the child.
Once the application has been submitted, the custodial parent must file a petition in either state or federal district court where he or she must also establish that:
- The child is under the age of 16 years old;
- The child was a habitual resident in the country where the application was filed;
- The petitioner has the right to custody and was exercising that right when the child was removed; and
- The petitioner did not consent to the removal of the child.
How a Galveston County International Child Abduction Lawyer Can Help
International child abductions can take a significant emotional and financial toll on a child and his or her family, so if your child was taken to another country in violation of a custody agreement, please contact the law firm of Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. by calling 281-486-6116 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced international child abduction lawyers who will help explain your legal options.