Child Abduction & Enforcement

Florida’s Child Abduction Prevention Act

Section 61.45 of the Florida Statutes was amended to create the “Child Abduction Prevention Act” which contains prevention tips for parents along with risk factors the court should consider in a potential abduction case as well as additional relief that the Family Court can order including civil and criminal penalties if a child is removed from the state or country in violation of a parenting plan. Parents who are concerned that the other parent may kidnap or abduct a child should review the Department of State’s Child Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP) that allows parents of US citizen children under the age of 18 to register their child’s name and receive advance notice if the other parent attempts to have a passport issued for the child.

The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction

If a child is actually abducted to a foreign country in violation of a Florida child custody time-sharing plan, the parent and their International Child Abduction Attorney can utilize the provisions under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction. The purpose of the Hague Convention is to deter international child abductions and to provide prompt remedies for the return of abducted children. The Convention is in effect between the United States and 53 other nations that have signed, ratified, or acceded to the terms of the Convention. The Convention applies to cases involving the wrongful removal or retention of a child under the age of 16 who habitually resided elsewhere and where the left-behind parent (LBP) had custody rights that they regularly exercised before the wrongful removal or retention. Each contracting nation has a Central Authority, or office, whose duties include discovering the whereabouts of the child, preventing harm or prejudice by provisional measures, attempting to secure the voluntary return of the child or bring about an agreed-upon resolution, exchanging information about the social background of the child, providing general information about the law of the nation in regards to the convention, assisting with judicial or administrative process for the return of the child if an agreement cannot be reached, and making arrangements to secure the safe return of the child which could include foster care. Defenses to legal action under the Convention include if the left-behind parent has delayed for more than a year, did not exercise their custody time prior to the removal or retention, consented or acquiescence in the removal or retention of the child, or if return would pose a grave risk of harm or place the child in an intolerable situation.

Contact Our Dade County Child Abduction Attorneys

Contact our Miami Hague Convention lawyers at 305-222-7351, or e-mail us to schedule an appointment to discuss your Dade County, Broward County, or Monroe County child abduction issue.

Our Miami Hague Convention lawyers accept family law cases in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Monroe County.

Consultations are available in Miami and at several meeting locations throughout Dade and Broward Counties including Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Galiano Street in Coral Gables West Country Club Drive in Aventura and Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Appointments are also available by telephone and via Skype internet video chat.

Want to Learn More?

If you would like more information on family law topics, read the topics in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).