Melissa J. Avery answers:
Finding out that your child has been taken to another country by the other parent without your consent is every parent’s worst fear. Understanding the legal mechanisms available to bring about the child’s safe return becomes vital. The left-behind parent can consider two potential avenues to pursue the return of the child.
If the child has been taken to a country who is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a proceeding can be started to seek return of the child and to ensure that rights of custody and access in the United States are respected in the other country. It may also be beneficial to work directly with local counsel in the country where the child is located to seek registration and enforcement of any US orders. This extremely complex area of family law requires skilled counsel with an understanding of both federal and state law.