International Child Abduction2021-06-30T11:08:29+02:00

 International Child Abduction

There are two kinds of international child abduction:

  • One parent takes the child to another country, without the consent of the other parent who also has custody
  • One parent decides not to bring the child back to the country where it has it’s habitual residece, without the consent of the other parent who also has custody.

When both parents have custody over a child and one parent decides to take the child to another country, or keep the child in another country without the consent of the other parent, it is a situation of international child abduction. In many countries this is a criminal act.

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction dictates the member states to make sure the child will be returned immediately to the state where it had it’s ‘habitual residence’ before it was abducted. There are only a few exceptions to this rule.

Child abduction creates a complicated situation, which needs to be solved as soon as possible, for the best interest of the child.

Scroll down, to read more about international child abduction:

  • what we can do for you
  • A-Z explained
  • FAQ
  • other relevant websites
  • our blogs
  • case law on child abduction

Questions about a possible international relocation?


What we can do in case of a (possible) international child abduction

Assisting in negotiations

We can help you or you lawyer to choose your arguements and to estimate how the court would judge the case.

We will warn you for future problems to make sure they are included in the negotiations.


Contacting the Central Authority

The remaining parent, who’s child had been abducted, can contact the Central Authority of its own country. The CA will then contact the CA of the country where the child is living.

The Central Authorities will work together to exchange information, protect the child, try to solve the matter with mediation or enable a court procedure.


Procedure for the Dutch court

The Convention tells which court has competence to deal with the request to return the child. It depends on where the child is currently living, its actual residence, which is not the same as its habitual residence.

The convention also tells that the court should in principle decide within 6 weeks.


Assisting with foreign procedures

You can contact us if you have any questions about international child abduction. We will share our knowledge and experience on The Hague Convention, all related international legal sources and the Dutch court procedure.

On request we can check your Return Request form or court papers and discuss your strategy.


Explaining The Hague Convention

We have studied national and international legal sources thoroughly and can save you and your lawyer a lot of time.

We are willing to share our knowledge with any organisation or company who is confronted with the impact of international child abduction.


Execution of return decision

The Convention also obligates the countries to assure that after the court has decided a child must return, the child will indeed be returned.

The Dutch law gives several options to put pressure on the abducting parent, such as assistance of the police, penalties, or taking the abducting parent in custody . But there are more options.


Questions about a possible international relocation?


Read more about International Child Abduction

A-Z explained

We would like to explain all the relevant terms to you, both the English terms as the Dutch terms that you might be confronted with in the procedure or in the communications with the Central Authority. If you miss anything, just let us know.


Frequently asked questions

We have listed the frequantly asked questions on this subject with the ansewers. Whe also refer to other relevant sources within our website or elsewhere. If your question is not on the list, please get in touch with our firm.


What are the costs of an abduction procedure?

Get in touch

More information for you to read through

Public sources

The Dutch Central Authority

How to contact the Dutch Central Authority to file a return request


The Dutch Central Authority is first organisation to talk to if you want to file a return request. They will do some research before deciding if they will accept your request. And then they will start their out of court procedure, which will not cost you anything.

They will contact the parent who took the child to the Netherlands and see if he or she is willing to cooperate or to cooperate with mediation.

If that does not have any positive result, you will have to decide wether or not […]

Who to contact?

Centrum IKO


The Dutch International Child Abduction centre

If you wish to file a return request about a child who has been abducted to the Netherlands, you can contact the Dutch Centrum IKO. You do not need a lawyer to do so.

IKO is an independent organisation, funded by the Duth Government. They can explain what optioins you have in the Netherlands. They can give you information and explain the possibility of Cross Boarder Mediation.

Their website shows a list of the countries that have a treaty relation with the Netherlands.  Besides that, it shows a page for children, with phone […]

Our blogs

Physical or psychological danger: the grave risk exception

If a child has been abducted by it’s parent to another country, the other parent can ask the court in that country to order the return of the child to the country where the child lived before the abduction.

Grounds for refusal

The judge can refuse to give that order, on the grounds that there is a serious risk that the child in that country will be exposed to a physical or mental danger, or be put in an unbearable condition in any other way (Article 13, paragraph 1 sub b Hague Child Abduction Convention). After all, in that case the disadvantage […]

What is the habitual residence of a child?

The Hague Child Abduction Convention aims to ensure the immediate return of children who have been unlawfully transferred or detained in a Contracting State. The treaty serves to protect the children, but also to protect existing rights of access.

The procedure in which the court is requested to order the return of the child is conducted in the country where the child is currently residing. That court must determine the habitual residence of a child. The country where it previously lived, or the country where […]

Case law

Children’s ‘refusal’ not accepted

District Court of The Hague

March 26 2020, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2020:2861

The court does not see any ground for ‘refusal’, because the children’s resistance is the result of the negative image father has of mother and their dependence on father. The Guardian ad litem had repported that the children and the father form ‘an island’ in the Netherlands. According to her, there is cognitive dissonance and systemic pressure. The court thinks their resistance is no reason to decline immediate return to the U.S.

The Convention

Pursuant to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, the court must order the immediate return of a child in the […]

The habitual residence of a baby

Monasky v. Taglieri

Supreme Court of the United States, February 25 2020

Do you need an agreement to have ‘shared parental intent’?

In Monasky v. Taglieri the Supreme Court rejected Monasky’s argument that an actual agreement was required in order to establish shared parental intent. 

Monasky is a U.S. citizen. Taglieri an Italian citizen. They were married in 2011, when they were living in the U.S. They relocated to Italy in 2013. Despite marital problems and physicall abuse, Monasky became pregnant in 2014. Tagliere then moved to Lugo, which was 3 hours away. However, the parties continued to collaboratively make plans for the […]

Don’t wait. Be prepared and gather all relevant information

Get in touch
Go to Top