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Hague Convention Cases Using the Well-Settled Criteria

International Child Abduction Cases

In our global society, international child custody disputes that involve parental child abduction or separation are becoming increasingly common.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, a treaty signed by 91 countries, is designed to return abducted children to their home countries. If a year or more has passed since the abduction, the child must be assessed to determine whether he or she is well-settled in the new country.

Assessments in Hague Convention Cases

Deena McMahon, LICSW, MSW, is experienced in assessing children according to the well-settled criteria that courts have relied upon. These factors include the child’s age, the stability of the home, whether the child attends school, church or other activities, and whether the child has family or friends in the area. This is a fact-based assessment.

The Convention does not make custody decisions. Instead, it seeks to preserve the child custody arrangement that existed immediately prior to the alleged abduction. In this way, the appropriate local court can sort out custody and other legal issues.

If you are parent whose child has been abducted or taken to another country, or an attorney who handles Hague Convention cases, please contact Deena McMahon by email or call (651) 210-0335.