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What Is the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction?

The Hague Conference on Private International Law is an international organization compromised of several countries (82 States and the European Union). The goal of the Hague Conference is to establish workable, internationally-agreed methods of resolving legal issues between countries with various legal systems and traditions regarding matters such as court jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of

In the 1980s, member states of the Hague Conference signed and enacted an international treaty called the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction—or the “Hague Abduction Convention.”

What Is the Hague Abduction Convention?

The Hague Abduction Convention is an international treaty that members of the Hague Conference, including the United States, signed and enacted to address international child custody concerns regarding abduction by parents. Parents under the Hague Abduction Convention are encouraged to return children to their home country—or “country of habitual residence.”

The Hague Abduction Convention provides an important legal framework for handling international abduction matters including :

  1. Establishment of a Central Authority to serve as the main entity responsible for investigating abduction cases and coordinating with parents and governments
  2. Expedited proceedings for admitting documents into evidence for courts of member countries
  3. Expedited procedures for parents in establishing their custodial rights
  4. Access and visitation rights do not depend on either the child or parent’s immigration status or nationality

What Does the Hague Convention Mean for Iowa Family Law?

Iowa is among the several jurisdictions in the United States that recognize and ratifies the provisions of the Hague Abduction Convention. Under Iowa Code § 598B.302, Iowa courts “may enforce an order for the return of the child made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction as if it were a child-custody determination.”

Iowa Code § 598B.105, “a child-custody determination made in a foreign country under factual circumstances in substantial conformity with the jurisdictional standards of this chapter must be recognized and enforced…”

As a result, Iowa courts are required to recognize and enforce the protections and procedures of the Hague Abduction Convention as if recognizing and enforcing court orders from a sister American state.

Looking for Quality Legal Advice? Call The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC

In this day and age, international activity has the potential to reach many aspects of our lives, including family relations. If you need advice regarding an international custody matter, you should consult an experienced attorney from The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC. We are committed to the goal of preserving your legal rights and interests regarding child custody matters, domestically, and internationally.

To arrange a free initial consultation, call us at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online today.

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