Proceedings Under the Hague Child Abduction Convention: 2018-2019

AuthorRobert G. Spector
Proceedings Under the Hague Child
Abduction Convention: 2018–2019
Most U.S. international family law litigation involved the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction1 and
its implementing legislation, the International Child Abduction Remedies
Act (ICARA).2 U.S. federal and state courts have concurrent jurisdiction
to decide on a request for the return of a child under the Convention.
The Convention operates to promptly return children to their habitual
residence. To obtain an order returning a child, the petitioner must prove
that the child was wrongfully removed from, or retained outside, of the
child’s “habitual residence” and that the petitioner had “a right of custody,”
which he/she was “actually exercising” (or would have exercised but for
the abduction), under the law of the child’s habitual residence.3
1. Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, Oct. 25, 1980,
1343 U.N.T.S. 89 [hereinafter the Child Abduction Convention].
2. The International Child Abduction Remedies Act, 22 U.S.C. §§ 9001–9011 (1988)
  
U.S.C. §§ 11603–11610 (1988)).
3. As is often noted, the law of the Child Abduction Convention is relatively straightforward,
but the facts can be complicated, although some cases are fairly easy to determine. See, e.g.,
Quintero v. De Loera Barba, No. CV 5:19-148, 2019 WL 1386556 (W.D. Tex. Mar. 27, 2019),
appeal dismissed sub nom. Pinto Quintero v. De Loera Barba, No. 19-50275, 2019 WL 4673234
(5th Cir. Aug. 15, 2019).
* Robert G. Spector is the Glenn R. Watson Chair and Centennial Professor of Law Emeritus
at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman, Oklahoma, and is a member of the
Family Law Quarterly Editorial Board.
Published in Family Law Quarterly, Volume 53, Number 4, Winter 2020. © 2020 American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof
may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

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