Mediating Conflict,
Embracing Peace

Child custody problems and the Hague Convention

Unfortunately, some child custody cases fall through the cracks of our family law system here in Everett and other parts of Washington. Although it does not happen often, a court may mistakenly grant custody to a parent that is dangerous to a child.

When a parent perceives a child custody order as wrongful, they may take it upon themselves to move the child to another country. Even though a parent may see this as the only form of protection, the Hague Convention could return the child to the United States despite your concerns.

Defenses that may keep your child out of the U.S.

If you have a critical reason for removing your child from Washington or another state, it could be possible to refute the Hague Convention and keep your child in another nation. Defenses against the return of a child include:

  • There exists a grave risk of psychological or physical harm if the child returns.
  • The child objects to the return and is old or mature enough to express their wishes.
  • At least a year has passed after the child’s removal, and they are now settled and comfortable in their current environment.
  • The party protesting the removal permitted you to take the child out of America.
  • Returning the child would violate fundamental principles involving human rights and freedoms in the nation where the child currently resides.

Many firms tell you what you want to hear so that you hire them to represent you in your divorce or child custody conflict. We are not like that. We prefer to tell families in our community what they need to know in clear and forthright terms. If you have a child custody dispute or are troubled by the Hague Convention, please consider learning more about state and international child custody laws instead of taking matters into your own hands.