A parent who finds his or her child outside the country without consent or travelling with another parent over the refusal of the other may obtain legal remedies to enforce the return of the child.
Since the foreign country where the child may be currently located have different family and custody laws, it is best to obtain a remedy under their laws. The parent could apply or initiate a proceeding therein by seeking the advice of legal practitioners knowledgeable of family laws of the overseas destination. Ask the legal representative what proceeding to undertake or which application to make under the foreign country’s laws to compel the other parent to return the child.
If the child, however, is detained or located in a foreign country signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, the parent has more chances of getting back the child. This treaty helps citizens of signatory countries to compel the return of a child wrongfully detained in a foreign jurisdiction. When both the home country and destination country are signatories to the treaty, it allows changing of the forum of parenting disputes allowing the case to be under the jurisdiction of the country where the child originally resided. This allows the parent from Australia to choose Australia as the forum for the parenting dispute case and compels the child to be returned here.
Australia became a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in 1987. Signatory countries assist each other when parenting disputes arise between parents located in different jurisdictions fight over the custody of the child. A full list of countries covered by the Hague Convention may be found in the Australian Government, Attorney-General’s Department website. It includes Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, United Kingdom and the USA, among others.
Australia also has bilateral agreements with Egypt and Lebanon. This agreement provides a process where parents from both jurisdictions can choose the preferred forum of parenting dispute, taking into consideration the best interest of the child and his or her current place of residence.