Early in 2022, our office was contacted by the U.S. Department of State to assist a foreign national with the return of a minor child from Oklahoma. The child had traveled to the United States with the other parent for a short trip, then, on arrival, the traveling parent refused to return the child to its home country.
The Hague Abduction Convention is a special agreement between many countries designed to ensure that children who have been wrongfully removed to one of the countries may be quickly returned to their country of habitual residence. Hague cases are unique, complex, and time-sensitive. Our attorneys have special training and resources for international child custody work and serve as volunteer attorneys with the U.S Department of State’s Hague Convention Attorney Network for matters just like this.
After researching and assessing the matter, Danya Bundy assisted the non-traveling parent with a petition and notice to the traveling parent. At the hearing, the judge agreed that the child had been wrongfully removed and ordered the child’s speedy return to its home country.
It is important to note that Hague cases are not designed to include a traditional “best interests” analysis for a custody dispute between two parents. Rather, the purpose of a Hague case is to restore a child to the proper country where a child custody case may proceed.