OUR OFFICES ARE OPEN.
DUE TO COVID-19, PHONE AND VIDEO CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE TO ALL POTENTIAL CLIENTS AND CURRENT CLIENTS THAT PREFER NOT TO MEET ONSITE. PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CALL US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS!

New York Divorce & Family Lawyers
Call for a Comprehensive Consultation 347.848.1850
Exceptional Solutions for You & Your Loved Ones Helping New York Families for Over 60 Collective Years

The Hague Convention

As improvements in technology make international travel easier, it also raises concerns for couples going through divorce. Specifically, it forces families to deal with child custody concerns when one parent moves to a foreign country. In October of 1980, various foreign countries got together to form the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (hereinafter "Hague Convention").

Since 2005 about 60 countries around the world, including the United States, have become parties to the Hague Convention. The purpose of the Hague Convention is to allow parents to take action, if one spouse either unilaterally or otherwise removes the child(ren) to a foreign country. The United States in 1988, decided to go one step further in by forming the International Child Abduction Remedies Act ("ICARA"), which creates a judicial remedy for those who need it.

Wrongful Removal

If you are currently going through a child custody proceeding where you believe your spouse may move abroad, there are some specific provisions that should be added to the Child Custody Agreement based upon the provisions of The Hague Convention and ICARA. First, it is important to have a provision that makes the Hague Convention applicable if one spouse removes the child or children to an international jurisdiction. However, the Hague Convention will be applicable if the removal was "wrongful."

Removal is "wrongful" if it would violate the custody rights of a party involved under the law of the jurisdiction where the child(ren) was a "habitual resident" right before the removal and at the time of the removal the party was actually exercising those rights and would have continued to exercise them if the child(ren) had not been removed. Furthermore, both States must be Contracting States to the Hague Convention on or before the removal, and the child(ren) must be under the age of sixteen at the time of removal.

Establishing a Home State

Second, once the Hague Convention applies, it is important to designate where the "home state" residence of the child(ren) is, especially if the parents are not residing in the same state. Specifically, you should include a clause that designates New York as the child(rens)'s home state. This is because courts will look at the intention of the parents when deciding where the habitual residence of the child(ren) is and having it agreed to in writing will demonstrate both that intention.

Act Now & Establish Wrongful Removal

Finally, and most importantly, if you are the parent who is filing a petition asking the child to be returned from the foreign country it is important to act quickly, because Courts will view a delay in filing as a parent sitting on their rights and therefore allow the child(ren) to remain in the foreign jurisdiction. If however, you file your petition timely, and are able to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the removal was wrongful, than the burden shifts to the other parent to demonstrate why the child should not be returned to the original jurisdiction.

What can the Hague Convention do for your custody case?

Each Contracting State is required to establish a "Central Authority" that is able to accept these Hague Convention Petitions. In the United States this authority is known as the National center for Missing and Exploited Children, if the child(ren) was removed from a foreign jurisdiction to the US. However, if the child(ren) was removed from the US to another jurisdiction than the United States Department of States is the Central Authority.

A party may also seek judicial relief under ICARA while their petition is pending in the Central Authority. In this petition, the party should request that once the child(ren) is returned the other party is responsible for the petitioner's legal fees, and other expenses that are authorized under ICARA. Once this is done, the petition must serve the other party in the quickest way possible because the Hague Convention aims to complete each case within a six-week time frame.

What Our Clients Are Saying

  • “Mr. Orgel got me custody of our daughter, more money than I expected and more of the house that I expected.”

    James

  • “The BEST attorney any client would hope for.”

    Raymond

  • “I am so grateful to Eiges & Eiges for taking my case & doing a par excellent job.”

    Andrea

  • “Mr. Eiges is very a patient and a very knowledgeable attorney.”

    Cheung

  • “My advise to anyone in a desperate situation, call this lawyer as soon as you can. You will be very glad you did.”

    Former Client

  • “I genuinely felt he and his office cared for me and my children.”

    Jen

  • “Compassion, professionalism, integrity and expert guidance are just some words that came to my mind when mentioning Eiges & Orgel PLLC.”

    Former Client

  • “He took the extra step to make sure I was satisfied.”

    S. Powell

  • “Ken told me where I would be at the end of the process - and he was right.”

    Kim

  • “Mr. Eiges was consistently able to neutralize his efforts, keep things civil, and keep the process moving forward.”

    V. S.

  • “The tremendous impact Scott and his team had on my life is something I will always be grateful for.”

    Former Client

  • “Ken is just amazing to work with and knows everyone in family court.”

    Seneca

  • “Mr. Eiges was very attentive and responsive.”

    A. Licari

  • “I have been very happy with their services.”

    Steve

  • “They worked extremely hard and took extra steps to fight for me.”

    Parrish

You Want Us On Your Side

Experience is Critical. We've Handled Thousands of Cases Over the Years and We're Ready to Help You. 
Call now for a Comprehensive Consultation.
  1. More Than 60 Years of Collective Experience
  2. Four Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers
  3. Resolved Over 3,000 Divorce Cases
  4. AV® Rated by Martindale- Hubbell®
  5. AVVO Ranked Superb & "Clients' Choice" Winner
  6. Media Appearances On CNN & People
  7. Appointments In-Office, Over the Phone, & Via Skype
Request to Speak With an Attorney
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter your availability.
  • Please enter a message.