Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Rex Arul uses President Barack Obama’s upcoming diplomatic trip to India as an opportunity to speak out about abductions of U.S. children to the South Asian country. The U.S. has more unresolved parental child abduction cases involving India than any other country besides Mexico, according to the U.S. State Department.
The State Dept. currently is working on more than 100 cases involving U.S. children taken to India by a parent against the will of the other parent; and overall, there has been a 160 percent increase in parental abductions from the U.S. to other countries in the past 10 years.
But despite the best efforts of even the most skilled Atlanta divorce lawyers, it’s extremely difficult to convince the Indian courts to honor a U.S. custody order in most cases. In fact, India has the dubious distinction of being a “safe haven” for international child abduction, most often by one of the child’s parents.
India has not ratified the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, even though 80 other nations have since its drafting 30 years ago. Signatories of the international treaty agree to return abducted children back to their homes in honor of the home country’s family courts.
Instead of honoring U.S. court orders pertaining to child custody, Indian courts often assume jurisdiction and hear cases as if they hadn’t been tried in the U.S. And since more than 30 million such cases are pending in the Indian courts, causing long delays, the columnist claims this gives abducting parents time to “create facts to argue that the American child is settled in India.”
And even if your child is abducted to India and you seek help from the State Dept., its website offers the following warning:
That’s not very encouraging. But speaking with a Georgia family law attorney if you believe your child may be abducted to India could go a long way toward preventing it in the first place.
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