Many Texas parents who have gone through a divorce know how contentious child custody issues can often be. Unfortunately, some non-custodial parents around the country have taken matters to an extreme by taking a child with them to another country in violation of a court order. The U.S. State Department estimates that at least 8,000 such instances occurred between 2008 and 2013.
In recognition of the seriousness of this problem, the U.S. along with 92 other countries are signatories to a treaty that outlines the procedures to be taken in the event of such a prohibited removal. However, the system still has flaws.
Because there are often other factors at play such as international business dealings between countries, it can be troublesome to negotiate the return of children who have been abducted and brought to a foreign land. The resolution of these cases can be subject to significant delays because of legal wrangling. In recent years, several cases have received widespread publicity. In response to this issue, federal legislation introduced by a New Jersey congressman who had a constituent faced with this problem was enacted in 2014. Among other things, the law requires the U.S. State Department to publish an annual list of countries that are not complying with the treaty. A variety of sanctions can be imposed on recalcitrant countries.
While a dispute over parenting rights usually does not end up in this type of manner, many parents still have problems with the enforcement of child custody orders. Those who find themselves in these situations often seek the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.