International child custody cases often involve a treaty called “The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction,” which creates a mechanism for the quick recovery of a child wrongly taken to another county. Eighty nations have ratified this treaty, and 59 have entered into specific agreements with the United States concerning the return of children under this treaty. Most countries from the Middle East and South America have not ratified this treaty nor have Japan, mainland China, or the Philippines.
An application for return of a child under the Hague Convention may be made when a child is taken or retained across an international border, away from his or her habitual residence, without the consent of a parent who has rights of custody, if the two countries are parties to the Convention. The child must be promptly returned to the habitual residence, unless the return will create a grave risk of harm to the child.
The Reed Law Firm, P.L.L.C. can represent a parent if their child has been taken from Virginia, in violation of the custodial rights of the primary custodial parent. In addition, we can also represent parents from other countries, if their child is brought to Virginia in violation of an existing custody order. An emergency lawsuit for the return of the child under the Hague Convention can be filed in either state or federal court.