The Law Offices of Edward J.S.F. Smith is one of the few divorce and family law firms in the state of Hawaii with experience in international child abduction cases. If your spouse has taken your child across international borders without your permission, you need a qualified attorney to enforce your parental and custodial rights and protect your child's welfare.
Thousands of international child abductions occur every year in the context of a divorce or post-divorce custody battle. Also known as parental kidnapping, child snatching, or child stealing, a child abduction is often committed by a noncustodial parent who received an unfavorable custody arrangement or even by a parent in the midst of divorce proceedings who anticipates being shut out of custody or visitation for various reasons. Regardless of the perpetrator's motives, abduction is detrimental to the child, and in violation of family law court orders.
With dealings in state court, the State Department, and a foreign country all existing simultaneously, international child abduction cases require the experience of an attorney who is knowledgeable in Hague Convention cases as well as situations involving non-signatory nations. In addition to resolving the international custodial dispute, criminal sanctions may apply, and it may be possible to initiate a civil lawsuit against the abducting parent. However, these actions could cause further emotional trauma to the child and should only be instituted after careful consideration, including counsel from your attorney.
Firm principal Edward Smith has dedicated his professional career to helping individuals and families in custody matters and other legal issues. If you have become involved in an international child abduction scenario or feel it is a possibility in your divorce or custody dispute, contact the Law Offices of Edward J.S.F. Smith for legal representation.