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Child custody considerations in international abduction cases

For any parent, making sure that your child is safe and well cared for is usually a thought that is never far from your mind. Some parents would love to be able to make sure that their child is cared for properly, but are unable to do so for reasons beyond their control. For one father, this is a sad reality. Residents in culturally diverse Lake County, Illinois, might be interested to know how the courts handle cases of international child abduction by a parent.

The mother abducted the child and fled the country with her. The child's mother claims that the man was emotionally and physically abuse. She left to take the child to nursery school in 2008 and never returned home. She moved to France after living in a women's shelter for months. The woman now lives in New York.

The man searched for his child diligently. Two years after she was abducted, the man discovered she was in New York.

The Supreme Court has ruled that it doesn't have the authority to change the terms of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in response to the father's petition to have the child returned to Britain. Under the international treaty, a child must be returned to the country of origin if a motion is filed within 12 months of the abduction.

In this man's case, the man didn't know where his child was for two years and was unable to file the motion. A judge could consider whether the child is settled in the new home. The judge could also consider if it is in the child's best interest to have to move for child custody hearings.

The Supreme Court ruled that it can't extend the deadline set forth in the international treaty. This is the third time in four years that the court has had to interpret parts of the treaty.

Anyone who has a child should be well aware of where the child is at any given time. If the child is abducted by his or her other parent and taken out of the country, you might have legal remedies available to help you seek child custody. Seeking the advice of an Illinois family law attorney might help you to discover these remedies.

Source: The Washington Times, "Supreme Court says it cannot alter deadline set by international accord on child abduction" Robert Barnes, Mar. 05, 2014

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