Source: Thailand Family Law Center
In the context of Thailand family law, child abduction cases typically occur during a child custody dispute, when one parent flees a legal jurisdiction with any children who are the subjects of the dispute. International law and Thailand family law may come into play when a child is abducted from a foreign country and taken to Thailand, when a child is taken from Thailand to a foreign country, or when a child is abducted by a parent within Thailand.
What should I do if my child is abducted and taken to Thailand?
The first thing a parent must do if a child has been abducted and taken to Thailand is to contact legal authorities, their embassy in Thailand, and an attorney who can help put you in touch with family law attorneys in Thailand.
Can the Hague Convention on Child Abduction be used in Thailand?
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides a procedure for parents who have had their children abducted by the other parent. The Hague Treaty on Child Abduction is executed through the governments of treaty member countries, but normally requires an attorney to file the appropriate documents with the government authority responsible for the retrieval of the child.
Thailand has formally acceded to the convention; however, at this time the proper procedures for acting upon the convention have not been codified into Thai law. This means that the convention, like a variety of other Thai legal subjects, falls into the “grey area” of Thailand law. For this reason, parents are encouraged to pursue their cases in the Thailand courts in the procedure outlined below.
What is the procedure for retrieving a child who has been taken to Thailand?
There is a great deal of misinformation stating that parental abduction in Thailand is not considered a crime under Thai law, and cannot be prosecuted. This is technically not true.
In order to retrieve a child that has been abducted by a parent in Thailand, the parent who is seeking the return of the child must seek full custody of the child in Thailand Family Courts. Once full custody has been obtained, a parent may use the Courts to issue a demand that the abducting parent attend Thai Court and return the child.
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