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Texas and the growing issue of international child abduction

Divorces can come with countless negative repercussions, especially in cases wherein parents do not agree on assigned child custody rights. In Texas, child custody is also known as conservatorship, which describes standard legal rights of a parent. Identical to child custody, this process can include joint managing conservatorship or sole conservatorship. When it comes to disputes regarding children and divorce, there exists a shocking number of cases in which parents travel with children internationally in attempt to regain custody.

The Houston Chronicle notes of the increasing issue of international child abduction not only in Texas, but in the United States as a whole. Federal authorities in charge of mediating international family disputes have reported the increase in demand, and point explanations for these cases largely toward the growth of foreign-born populations in the U.S. Yet the only help most parents in such situations receive is from the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention, a treaty that works with 73 signed countries to return missing children to their place of habitual residence. Although the treaty is a step forward in regards to resolving international child custody issues, the instances of actually finding an abducted child remain slim in most cases.

According to the Hague Abduction Convention website, mediation remains one of the most reliable routes to recovering abducted children. However, the organization also shares that an increasing number of treaty participants allow for more party autonomy in the resolution of family disputes while safeguarding the rights of third parties, particularly children. When countries can agree on solutions to this widespread issue, the promotion of dispute resolution by agreement has proved to be helpful in such family disputes. Through mediation, parties may communicate in an informal atmosphere and develop their own strategies on how to resolve conservatorship conflicts.  

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