International Child Abduction

Feinberg & Waller, APC is pleased to report a recent win in a very complex, international Hague Convention family law battle. The case involved the parents of a young child who, up until her abrupt removal by her mother had lived in France with both parents for over two years. The mother took the child to the United States and, it was argued, wrongfully retained the child in the United States in contravention of the Hague Convention, an international treaty generally designed to provide rules on where child custody disputes are to be determined. It took father roughly fourteen months to locate his daughter so as to be able to bring the proceedings for her recovery in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

There was a concern that mother, once aware of the legal proceedings and of father's intentions to have the child returned to France, might flee California with the child during the course of the trial on this Hague matter. The law firm of Feinberg & Waller obtained a bold ruling from the Los Angeles Superior Court judge requiring both the mother and child to wear global positioning satellite (gps) ankle-monitoring bracelets 24/7 during the lengthy period during which the trial was conducted (over thirty days) until the court could make a determination whether or not to return the child to her country of alleged habitual residence (France). At the trial and the presentation of evidence the court granted Feinberg & Waller's client's request and ordered an immediate transfer of the minor child to the care of her father for transport back to France. The client and his child returned to the country where they both resided and the issue of custody of this child is now in the hands of the French judicial system.

International child abduction is a complex and difficult area fraught with pitfalls for the unwary. If you have questions about a similar situation the attorneys at Feinberg & Waller are available for consultation and retention under the appropriate circumstances.

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