International Child Custody Issues

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    International Custody Battles

    Child abduction is a scary and real. If you’re a parent, it is probably important to you to know where your child is at all times. It can be devastating to know that your child has been abducted – and even more so if you find out your child has been taken to a different country!

    Kids that are abducted internationally face serious danger and even death. In 2013, the FBI published a study stating that there is a rising number of non-custodial parents abducting their children from the custodial parent. Here in Oakland County, we see more than our fair share of international child abduction cases.

    Couple fighting in front of child

    The Kronzek Firm attorneys have decades of experience dealing with international child custody cases. If your child has been abducted, it is vital you contact us right away so that we can work to reunite you with your child.

    You will need the best representation you can afford because international custody cases are time-consuming and complex. These cases involve cooperation on the state level, national level, and international level. Our attorneys here at The Kronzek Firm PLC have successfully reunited families who lost their children to abduction by a non-custodial parent. For help, call us at 248-479-6200 or contact us online.

    Michigan Custody Laws

    For the most part, child custody in Michigan is governed by the Child Custody Act of 1970. The court will decide on any custody disputes, based on the best interest of the child. To decide on custody issues, the court takes into consideration a variety of factors, such as the emotional ties between the parents and child, the ability of the parents to care for the child, the moral and physical fitness of the parents, and the length and permanence of a stable family environment.

    Parents must follow the custody order outlined by the court. Based on our federal law, courts in our sister states must also respect this custody order, and even some foreign courts will follow it. Depending on the situation, our courts sometimes also respect child custody orders from abroad. Honoring custody orders from Michigan and other states in the USA is a topic covered by lots of federal laws. These include our federal parental kidnapping statute as well as the Hague Convention Treaty that we signed.

    Altering a Custody Agreement

    Signing custody agreement

    To change a child custody agreement, the parents must either get approval from the court, or approval from the other parent. If the custody determination was made in a foreign country, then that country’s laws may apply when it comes to altering the agreement.

    Dealing with custody agreements across borders can be complicated at times, and requires an in-depth understanding of how the process works, and all of the potential issues that could come up along the way.

    International Parental Child Abductions

    International child abduction occurs when a child is removed from or kept out of the United States in violation of a court order. Child abduction is illegal in the US and a parent who abducts a child to a foreign country may face further legal consequences abroad.

    Several countries have agreed to work together through The Hague Convention Treaty. This international agreement  outlines a standardized process to return children who have been abducted. Most of the signatory countries honor their commitment to that process. At The Kronzek Firm, we have experienced some countries in Europe that refused to honor their commitment.

    International custody issues can quickly become difficult and complex. You will need a lawyer who has a thorough understanding not just of Michigan child custody laws, but also of custody laws abroad. Our attorneys here at The Kronzek Firm have the expertise to help you! Fill out a contact form online or call us today at (248)-479-6200.

    The Hague Convention


    Approximately 98 countries have signed The Hague Convention, formally known at The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The goal of The Hague Convention is to “protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention and to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return.”

    All countries who have signed the agreement have set up a “Central Authority” to take care of international child abductions. These Hague Convention rules, however, only apply to countries that have actually signed the agreement.

    The Hague Convention defines international child abduction as wrongfully removing or retaining the child by taking the child to a country in violation of a custody agreement or a parent’s right of custody. If a parent believes their child to be wrongfully removed from Michigan or anywhere in the United States, the parent must contact the Central Authority of the US or of the country where the child has been abducted to.

    After receiving a report of child abduction, the Central Authority’s job is to take action to discover the location of the child, provide information regarding the child, prevent further harm to the child, and facilitate the child’s return through their country’s judicial process.

    In the case of child abduction, especially international child abduction, it is vital that you act quickly. The Hague Convention specifies a quick return of the abducted child to his/her home country. However, even then it can take many weeks or even months before you are reunited with your child. What’s worse is that the longer it takes, the smaller the likelihood that your child will actually be returned.

    This is because The Hague Convention allows the child to stay in the abducted country if a year has passed and the child has already “settled in” to the new place. Because of the risk of losing your child, it is vital that you get a qualified and experienced attorney to represent you rapidly. Our expert team at The Kronzek Firm has decades of experience in this type of work. For help, call us today at (248)-479-6200.


    Countries Outside The Hague Convention

    Child pointing at a globe

    If your child has been abducted to a country that has not signed The Hague Convention, the process of getting your child back becomes significantly more complicated, time-consuming and costly. You will need an especially experienced attorney to take on a case like this.

    The United States does have various laws to provide guidance on international child abduction, but the US does not have jurisdiction internationally in parental abduction cases. Some of the laws to look at for guidance in locating a missing child are the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act, Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

    Oakland County Parental Abduction Attorneys

    If you are dealing with an international child custody agreement, you will need a skilled attorney who understands the complexity of cases like yours. If you’re trying to get an international child custody agreement modified, or if your child has been abducted to a foreign country, contact the attorneys at The Kronzek Firm PLC today!


    CALL (248)-479-6200