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US Court Orders One Year Deadline on Hague Child Abduction

Thailand Child Abduction

Photo by Gavinaz

The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled on 5 March 2014 that the Hague Convention on Child Abduction’s a one year limitation providing for automatic return to the child country of residence , may begin to run even though the non-custodial parent may be unaware that the child has been abducted reported The Washington Associated Press.

The Hague Convention on child abduction states that a child must automatically be returned to its home country within the first year of residing in a foreign country. The Supreme Court ruling will provide a shorter window for the aggrieved parent in a custody battle to demand the automatic return of a child pursuant to the one year time period as defined by Convention.

The Hague Convention is an international convention between member nations that agree to abide by its terms. Nevertheless, the provisions of the Convention would, in general, need to be enacted in each member nation’s domestic laws. Further,  a member nation may interpret or modify its duties, as enacted in its domestic law in accordance with the legal system of that nation’s interpretation of the Convention.

In this instance, the Supreme Court’s ruling means that the one year period, after which US judges may have more discretion to deny the request for the return of an abducted child pursuant to the Hague Convention, may expire more quickly. and thereby prejudice the parent requesting the return.

The US Supreme Court’s ruling will not have a direct effect on most child custody cases in Thailand. However it may have an effect on cases in where a child is abducted from Thailand and brought to the USA and the Thailand based parent requesting the return pursuant to the Convention has exceed the one year period.

Although Thailand, along with the USA, is a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. Thailand has only recently enacted internal domestic law to enforce the terms of the Convention pursuant to the Thailand Child Abduction Act.

Read the full article here.

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Thailand Child Protection Act

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Thailand Child Abduction Law