In addition to cases seeking the return of an abducted child, the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction also accepts applications to ensure the effective exercise of rights of access and visitation for non-custodial parents. For parents who have not been receiving adequate visitation with their abducted child, either through letters, emails, phone or video calls, this is a powerful tool to ensure visitation is maintained.
Upon filing an application, a court in the child’s country should work to promote the peaceful enjoyment of visitation rights by removing any obstacles to the exercise of visitation or rights of access. Of course the logistics of arraigning international child visitation can be difficult in and of themselves but creative use of technology, such as video conferencing or email, can provide low-cost methods of remaining in contact. In some cases, direct visitation in the child’s country may also be possible.
Additionally, unlike applications for return of a child, applications to ensure visitation rights can be made even if the child was abducted before the Hague Convention was enacted. This means that even cases where children were abducted to Japan before the Convention was enacted in 2014, parents can still apply through the Hague Convention to ensure adequate visitation is maintained.
If you have any questions about the Hague Convention, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.