Enforcing the Hague Convention

Central Authority. Each country creates a central authority to enforce the Hague Convention. The State Department is the central authority in the United States. Central authorities are to cooperate with each other to secure in the prompt return of children, and in particular to:

  • discover the whereabouts of an abducted child.
  • take provisional measures to prevent further harm to the child or prejudice to the interest parties.
  • secure a voluntary return of the child or amicable resolution.
  • exchange information about the child.
  • provide legal information.
  • take legal action to return the child and organize or secure access.
  • provide legal aid in advice, including legal counsel and advisers.
  • provide administrative arrangements to return the child.
  • keep each other informed and eliminate obstacles to application of the Convention.

Next: How to Get Your Child Back

The Hague Convention

International Abductions. If your child has been abducted abroad, you will likely turn to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, adopted by the United States and 59 other countries.



Objectives. The objectives of the Hague Convention are to (a) secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed to or retained in a country, and (b) ensure the rights of custody and access under the laws of a country are respected in another country.

Age. The Convention applies to children under the age of 16.

Wrongful Removal or Retention. A removal or rentention is wrongful when (a) it is a breach of sole or joint custody under the laws of the country where the child lived before being abducted, and (b) custody rights were actually exercised or would have been if the child had not been abducted. Custody may be by agreement but does not have to be. It can also be by operation of law. Under US state laws, parents have joint custody until and unless a court rules otherwise.

Next Blog: Enforcement of The Hague Convention

Interstate and International Cases

Over a third of all cases involve children across state or international borders. It is one of the most confusing and complex areas in fathers’ rights cases. I will try to bring good order and make some sense of it.

These cases are governed by the following federal laws, uniform laws adopted by states, and The Hague Convention adopted by certain countries.

Interstate Child Abduction

PKPA (Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1996)

UCCJA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act of 1968)

UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act 0f 1997)

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention

ICARA (International Child Abduction Remedies Act of 1988)

Child Support

UIFSA (Uniform Interstate Family Support Act of 1996)

FFCCSOA (Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act of 1994)

I will explain each of these laws in the next few blogs.

Why I Started This Blog

My second book has just been released, entitled “Fathers’ Rights (A Legal Guide to Protecting the Best Interests of Your Children)” by Sphinx Publishing.

There is much demand for information out there, and little available. The stakes are high, emotions are tense, and confusion abounds.

So I wrote my book, and I am starting this blog, for the average dad, who is trying to find his way through a child custody case, and do what is best for his kids.

I will try to explain the law of fathers’ rights, clearly and concisely, in plain language, with a little humor and wisdom thrown in as well. I welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.