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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Family Law Hague Convention > The Hague Convention – We’ve All Heard the Buzz, But What Cases Apply?

The Hague Convention – We’ve All Heard the Buzz, But What Cases Apply?


As of late, the Hague Convention has been a popular topic of conversation in Chicago homes. Indeed, the truth is that whether or not you are a Game of Thrones or Jonas Brothers fan, it is impossible to escape news about iconic duo Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ recent divorce filing and Turner’s proceedings under the Hague Convention. However, the seemingly now-bitter Hollywood split with international flavors helps demonstrate an important point for parents in Chicago and throughout the United States who may have an ex-spouse or partner that lives overseas. Turner’s filings under the Hague Convention sheds light on the question of what cases can actually be brought by American parents under the international treaty?

The Hague Convention – A Convention to Prevent Child Abduction

Among other things, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption was promulgated to facilitate the “prompt return” of a child abducted by a parent from the child’s “country of habitual residence” to another country. According to the United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, “The purposes of the Convention are to protect children from the harmful effects of international abduction by a parent by encouraging the prompt return of abducted children to their country of habitual residence, and to organize or secure the effective rights of access to a child.” Furthermore, the Department notes, “The ideas is that custody and visitation matters should generally be decided by the proper court in the country of the child’s habitual residence.” Simply put, the Hague Convention helps a parent in the United States retrieve their child in the case that the child is abducted by the other parent in the context of a custody battle.

Cases that Fall Under the Hague Convention

It is important to note that not all international child custody and child abduction cases fall under the ambit of the Hague Convention. In fact, in order to fall under the Convention, a case must typically meet the following criteria:

  • The abducted child was “habitually resident” in one country that has adopted the Convention and was wrongfully removed to another country that has adopted the Convention;
  • The removal of the child was in violation of existing child custody rights;
  • The Convention must have been effective between the two countries at issue when the child was abducted;
  • The child is under 16 years old.

Help for Chicago Parents in the Case of an International Child Abduction

Certainly nothing could be more terrifying than experiencing your child being abducted internationally. It is something no parent should ever have to experience. However, if you are from Chicago and your child was abducted internationally, it is important to seek out assistance from an experienced Chicago international family law Hague Convention lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced Chicago international family law Hague Convention lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC offer a confidential consultation to learn about your case and to see if they can help fight for you. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC and speak to an experienced Chicago lawyer about your case today.



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