Press ReleasesPRESS RELEASE – August 2012

CLG successfully assist family in the return of their child abducted to Canada!

A left-behind American father and grandparents of an abducted child recently hired our international lawyer Véronique Malka to aid in securing his immediate return to the U.S.A..  Having been wrongfully removed from his home and taken to Canada, Véronique filed an urgent application under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in the proper Canadian court.  She made sure the matter was scheduled to be heard within four weeks of it being filed.  She then travelled to Ontario for the court hearing.

The child was on his way home to the U.S.A. with his father, by court order, a mere two hours following the close of the hearing!

Unfortunately, international child abductions are on the rise, corresponding to the increase in the rate of marital separations and Divorce.  Today, a total of 155 countries are signatories to the Hague Convention.  When applied properly and expeditiously, the Hague Convention is a powerful piece of legislation which can lead to the prompt return of an abducted child.  The average domestic family lawyer does not know how to conduct a Hague case.  At times, even judges hearing such cases need to familiarize themselves with the workings of the Convention in order not to treat the case as a typical domestic matter.  A typical mistake made by your local family lawyer is to press charges of international kidnapping against the parent who absconded with the child.  The problem which then arises is that the parent may then be barred, under immigration regulations, from returning to the United States or Canada; what then happens to the abducted child who is too young to be sent home without his primary caregiver? Here is an example where the Hague Convention interplays with immigration law.  An overly aggressive and uneducated lawyer approach can sometimes be self-defeating.

It is crucial that left-behind parents hire an international lawyer familiar with the tools and pitfalls of the Convention’s application.  Although the Convention is a relatively short text of law, and reads fairly clearly, its application is governed by an enormous body of caselaw, which changes from country to country.  Véronique is licenced as a lawyer in Ontario, Canada and also practices as a foreign legal consultant in New Jersey.  She is well versed in the Convention’s application in both Canada and the U.S.A.