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Recovering a child from a foreign country following a kidnapping

A Florida parent's worst nightmare could occur if their child is kidnapped by an ex and taken to another country. While prosecutors do have the authority to investigate and potentially prosecute the other parent involved in the kidnapping, they cannot control whether or not foreign authorities will return the child to the United States.

The return of a child is often done through negotiations between the U.S. Department of State and other foreign agencies. Depending on the country where the child is located, the return could potentially be facilitated by the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction. However, both countries involved in the child abduction situation must be signatories. Since the U.S. is a signatory state, the other country would also have to be a signatory state.

Although there is a legal process for returning a child to the U.S., some parents may turn to extra-judiciary methods in order to recover the child faster. However, if a parent takes these types of actions, they could potentially be violating both U.S. federal laws and foreign laws. This could then exacerbate the situation. If, for example, the other parent obtained a foreign custody order, the parent trying to get the child back could potentially get taken into police custody in the foreign country.

Having a child taken out of the country without the custodial parent's permission or knowledge can be a very difficult situation for everyone involved. If the custodial parent is in the middle of a child custody dispute and the child suddenly goes missing, a family law attorney may assist with providing resources and determining what options are available. In some cases, the attorney may work with the proper authorities or agencies to locate the child and guide the parent through the process of recovering the child from a foreign country.

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