Frequently Asked Questions

In situations where parents are fleeing the jurisdiction for legitimate safety reasons, what can they do to prevent a child from being returned to the jurisdiction if they are ordered to do so?

Firstly, one would have to establish if the abduction was to a Hague or non-Hague country.

If the abduction is to a Hague country and the requested country orders the return of the child, it assumes the abducting parent unsuccessfully raised the defense of “grave risk of harm” to avoid a return. In that case the abducting parent can appeal. If the appeal fails, then the abducting parent can request conditions or undertakings as they are called, to secure the safety of the children and abducting parent upon their return.

If the abduction is to a non-Hague country, if the court order is from the left behind country, it may have no enforcement capability in the abducted to country. For example, countries like India, Jordan, Lebanon, and so on will likely make their own custody determination notwithstanding a custody order for the return of the child from Canada.

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