One parent’s decision to kidnap a child and flee the United States, or to refuse to return a child to the U.S. upon the child’s visit to another country, can trigger complex and painstaking legal proceedings. You need a lawyer who understands both the dire circumstances and the delicate interplay of state, federal, and international laws.Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., has vast experience with international child abductions and Hague Convention remedies. Our attorneys will take swift and assertive action in state or federal court, to protect your parental rights and secure governmental intervention on your behalf. Our goal is to return your child to you as immediately as possible.Our firm has successfully resolved international kidnappings and custody disputes, including abduction prevention and return of children wrongfully taken from the U.S.
International Custody Kidnapping And The Hague Convention
Every country has its own child custody laws and procedures. Parents sometimes try to exploit those differences by taking their children out of the U.S. and attempting to establish custody in a foreign court.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty, created to avoid kidnappings and high-profile, diplomatic incidents. The Hague Convention establishes jurisdictional guidelines for international child custody matters. For divorces and custody orders that originated in California, the treaty mandates the kidnapping parent to return the child to the U.S. The California court with jurisdiction will then sort out any disputes regarding custody, visitation, or support.
Kidnappings can result in weeks or months of legal wrangling, even if the country to which a parent has moved a child is a signatory to the Hague Convention. In countries that do not honor the international agreement, it is even more critical for you to hire a law firm that can advocate effectively for you and your child.
Debra R. Schoenberg is a family law certified specialist,* with over 35 years of experience. She leads a team of accomplished, compassionate attorneys committed to upholding your rights, and arranging for the safe return of your child as expeditiously as possible.
“Debra Schoenberg and her team got me through some very intense, complex and traumatic family court proceedings. When I was attorney-shopping, I knew within the first five minutes with Debra that I wanted her to represent me. Yes, the SFLG is expensive, on par with other top-drawer attorneys in San Francisco. But for me, the job they did was worth the expense.”
— L.G. (See more testimonials from clients.)
Pre-Emptive Legal Action
If your former spouse prevents your child from coming home after a scheduled visitation abroad, or if you suspect the other parent is plotting to kidnap your child, we will assert your rights under the Hague Convention, or initiate action in state or federal court. With sufficient evidence before the court, a judge could require the other parent to post a bond before taking the child to another country. Alternatively, the court could confiscate the child’s passport, or prevent the parent from having unsupervised visitation.
Our San Francisco Hague Convention attorneys will address your fears and vigorously represent you in these frightening, high-stakes proceedings. You may
contact us online or call us at 415.834.1120 to arrange a consultation.
* Certified in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.