Houston Hague Convention Attorneys
Protecting Children & Parents Across Borders
The Hague Convention on International Kidnapping protects children across borders. Our Houston Hague Convention attorneys have the unique knowledge and experience to handle cases involving international kidnapping and custody across country borders and under the Hague Convention.
To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (713) 766-5355.
What Is the Hague Convention?
The Hague Abduction Convention is an international treaty that the United States, as well as numerous other countries, have joined over the past few decades. Our lawyers often refer to countries who have ratified or acceded to the Hague Convention as “Hague” countries.
The Hague, a city in the Netherlands, is where the many international treaties or Hague Conventions have been worked out. These conventions become law in the countries that formally accept them. Various countries have joined the Hague Convention that governs international abduction. The U.S. is a signatory to the Hague Convention on international kidnapping, which means that if you or your spouse remove your child from the child’s habitual residence or remove your child in violation of a custody order, the Hague Convention on international abduction will apply to the situation.
The Hague Convention & Parental Kidnapping
The Hague Abduction Convention is the international treaty that governs parental kidnapping and the removal of children from their country of habitual residence. Multiple countries, including the U.S., have joined The Hague Abduction Convention, but there are many countries who are not signatories to this treaty.
Sometimes during child custody disputes, one parent will cross international borders with their children, sometimes to return to their country of origin, or for other reasons. The Convention serves to protect children from parental kidnapping across international borders.
If a parent commits parental kidnapping in a country that is a signatory to the Convention, the other parent has two, sometimes overlapping, options in the US for the return of the child. First, there is the option of an administrative return, which is negotiated through the Central Authority. Each country that participates in the Hague Convention has its own Central Authority, and the Central Authority in the United States is the US State Department’s Office of Children’s issues. Second, our attorneys can pursue court proceedings to compel the return of the child. Because such court proceedings involve an international treaty, these cases, unlike most family law cases, arise under federal law rather than state law and thus are frequently initiated in or removed to federal court. Many of our attorneys are highly experienced in federal court proceedings and are admitted to practice in various federal courts, including the federal district courts in Texas, The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and even the United States Supreme Court. Our attorneys have appeared in federal court in Hague abduction cases and are well-versed in federal procedure.
You may wish to file a Hague Convention case if:
- Your child was a habitual resident in a Hague Convention country, and another party wrongfully removed them to another Hague country; or
- Another party wrongfully removed your child to another Hauge country in violation of your custodial rights.
At Diggs & Sadler, our Houston Hague Convention attorneys have experience navigating Hague Convention cases involving international abduction and helping parents regain custody of kidnapped children. We have received global recognition as the 2022 Matrimonial Law Firm of the Year for Texas by The Lawyer Network.
To work with legal counsel you can depend on, contact our office online or via phone at (713) 766-5355.
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