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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Family Law Hague Convention > International Child Abductions: 3 Reasons to Act Immediately if You Suspect Your Ex is Planning to Abduct Your Child Overseas

International Child Abductions: 3 Reasons to Act Immediately if You Suspect Your Ex is Planning to Abduct Your Child Overseas


Most parents who have gone through long and drawn-out custody battles over their child or children with an ex-spouse or partner know that the fight for who gets custody of the child can be extremely heated. With tensions flaring and animosities building between divorcing or otherwise separating parents, a child can easily get caught in the crosshairs of the custody debate. Importantly, once custody is established by a court order, the scenario may not cool off. A non-custodial parent may seek revenge against the custodial parent or have other motivations for breaching the custody agreement or order and visitation schedule, and may even abduct the child overseas. If you suspect that your ex-spouse or partner may abduct your child overseas, here are three reasons why you should act immediately to stop the abduction and take legal action.

The Risk of Never Seeing Your Child Again

According to the U.S. Department of State, “when a parent learns their child has been taken or kept abroad without their consent and against their custody rights, it’s not just a family matter…they might lose all contact….” Indeed, once a child is taken by a non-custodial parent overseas, the risk that you may not see your child increases greatly, especially if the parent who has abducted the child has resources and means overseas to “disappear”.

Lack of Ability to Know about the Child’s Wellbeing

One of the major consequences of losing contact with a child that has been abducted internationally is that you may not receive any news or information about the child’s health, wellbeing, or living conditions. As the U.S. State Department points out, an international child abduction has the impact of “preventing the parent from having a relationship with the child and leaving them in the dark on their child’s wellbeing.” Once the child’s non-custodial parent takes the child abroad, they may intend to prevent you from seeing the child, and may instruct family members to help them keep the child from you.

Complexities of Courts Overseas

Another reason to act immediately if you suspect that your child may be abducted internationally by the child’s noncustodial parent is that, according to the U.S. State Department, “attempting to fix the issue through a custody claim in a foreign court can be frustrating, costly, and time-consuming.” Furthermore, “while [international parental child abduction] is a crime in the United States, this is not always the case overseas, and pursuing criminal charges might not be possible. In sum, the laws of foreign countries may not recognize a custody order from a Chicago court, and foreign laws may not protect your child and require the child’s return home.

Help for Chicago Parents Facing an International Parental Child Abduction

If you suspect that your child may be in danger of being abducted by their noncustodial parent, it is important to act immediately. In Chicago, the experienced international family law Hague Convention lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC, are here to help fight for you in your international child abduction case. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC, and speak to an experienced international family law Hague Convention lawyer about your rights and options today.



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