Unfortunately, some Texas parents who have gone through a divorce are affected by situations in which their child is wrongfully taken abroad by the other parent in order to evade child custody and access orders. Although this type of behavior is illegal, some parents still flaunt the court orders and take their children away.
The problem is a pervasive one, with nearly 8,000 cases reported to the U.S. State Department between the years of 2008 and 2013 alone. In order to combat this global issue, 93 countries have signed on to a treaty pledging to help return children who have been abducted and brought within their borders.
Unfortunately, significant challenges still exist despite the treaty. In some cases, a child is taken to a country that does not participate. In others, it is difficult to locate the other parent and child in order to make the treaty apply. In still others, lawyers in the foreign country file motions to drag on the proceedings for years. Parents who are seeking the return of their children have often faced substantial obstacles, including the high cost of frequent travel to the foreign country for ongoing court proceedings. In July 2014, a law was passed by Congress that mandates that the State Department issue an annual list of countries in which at least one abduction occurred within the prior year. The hope is that the list will shame other countries into acting more quickly to help return children that have been wrongfully taken away.
Child custody disputes may be difficult. They are especially heart-wrenching when the child is abducted by the other parent. People who are dealing with such issues or who are worried that their former partner might flee with their child may want to get help from a family law attorney.