Removal of a Child From Their Native Country Under the Laws of NJ
- September 19, 2012
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The Hague Convention is an international law into which countries may enter for the purposes of international cooperation. The Hague Convention has been signed by 89 countries. Haiti, Nepal and the Russian Federation have signed but not ratified. The Hague Convention has sections pertaining to international abduction of a child. One sections requires the return of a child wrongfully removed from their habitual residence as long as the action for return is filed within one year of the date the child is removed. Any application filed after one year requires the court to consider whether the child is well-settled in the new country of residence. Exceptions to the one year timeframe include a showing that the abducting parent has taken steps to conceal the child’s whereabouts from the parent seeking return or there is grave risk of harm to the child by the receiving state or family members therein. There are defenses which may be asserted by the parent who removed the child from their native country. In the event the other parent consented to removal, the court will not force a return of the child to their habitual residence. If the child is old enough to make such a decision, the child may decide whether they wish to stay in the country to which they have been removed or return to their habitual residence. Finally, if there is grave risk of physical or psychological harm to the child in their new residence, the court will order the return of the child to their habitual residence. This blog is for informational purposes only and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney regarding your specific matter. If you are seeking to remove a child from or have a child returned to another state or territory, you should consult an experienced family law attorney immediately in order to protect your rights. For more information on relocating with children, child custody, child support, enforcement, modification, alimony, divorce, dissolution of civil union or domestic partnership, custody or other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com.