While you may live in Massachusetts and your child was born in the state, that does not mean that you will never face international custody issues. Some parents find leaving the country with their child to be one way to assume full custody and get their way during a dispute. However, there are many laws in place to help you should this happen to you.

The U.S. Department of State has many laws that help with specific issues that you may experience if you have an international custody issue. Since parental abduction is a common occurrence where a parent takes the child out of the country as a way to keep him or her away from the other parent, there is the Hauge Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Abduction. This treaty is an agreement that provides legal access for the U.S. to have a child returned if he or she is taken illegally from the country by a parent. There is also the International Child Abduction Remedies Act, which allows for finding abducted children using federal databases. The International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act also assists with abduction cases. The Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act helps to prevent such abductions in cases where a court see factors that could potentially point to this as a risk.

The law also makes sure that any parent who abducts a child faces criminal charges. The U.S. has extradition agreements with many other countries which means if your child’s other parent takes him or her to one of these countries and is found by local law enforcement then they will both be sent back to the U.S. without hassle. The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act of 1993 makes it a crime to take a child under the age of 16 out of the United States with the intent of doing so to be to take away the rights of the other parent. This information is for education and is not legal advice.