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New act bolsters Hague convention and child custody laws

Going through a divorce can be a difficult process, especially when children are involved. Although the state of Florida has embraced the concept of co-parenting and encourages time-sharing arrangements, it's worth noting that not all states have similar laws. This can complicate custody arrangements and may even lead to disputes. But when dealing with the laws of other countries though, child custody arrangements can get even more contentious.

Aside from differing laws, not all countries recognize the laws of other countries. This can create major problems when dealing with custody arrangements. As you can imagine, if one parent has citizenship in another country and decides to return there with the child, this can create conflicts, especially if the other parent does not know that this relocation is taking place. This can quickly escalate into cases of international child abduction and can lead to lengthy litigation that can be difficult to sort out. 

As some of our Hillsborough County readers know, the Hague Convention can help in cases of international child abduction. This multilateral treaty has been signed by a number of nations and asserts that the countries that sign it will recognize the child custody laws of the other participating countries. Though this has worked so far to a point, some legislators have felt that more needs to be done, especially to help left-behind parents assert their parental rights.

Thanks to the efforts of some out-of-state legislators, the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act was presented to Congress and eventually signed by President Obama last month. The act gives the State Department more leverage when it comes to cases of international child abduction and gives it the right to use "increasingly forceful measures against any country that does not help return an American child illegally held there."

This may come as good news to any of our readers who may be dealing with a custody situation that involves international laws.

Sources:, "N.J. mom step closer to reunion after Obama signs law about international child abduction," Cristina Rojas, Aug. 9, 2014, "Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014," Accessed Sept. 4, 2014

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