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Interstate International Child Abduction


Helping reunite parents and children

Few things can be more devastating than learning that your child has been abducted by a parent. Typically, you will not know what to do or who to turn to for help and unfortunately law enforcement agencies are so unfamiliar with state and federal laws that they do not consider it a crime. The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. has helped parents recover children from other states and countries around the world. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your family, and we provide compassionate, attentive legal services to help minimize your anxiety. If your child has been taken across state lines or out of the country, we relentlessly pursue your child’s return.

Interstate child abduction

There are laws in place to prevent interstate abduction by parents and to prevent the parent from delaying the return of the child. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) limits the jurisdiction of custody matters to one state and provides for expedited enforcement and pick-up orders of the child to return to the home state. It also establishes uniform criteria for determining jurisdiction. The UCCJEA requires the state to decline jurisdiction where the abducting parent has taken the child except for enforcement purposes.

The Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA) provides the federal enforcement mechanism to ensure that states honor the custody and interstate relocation decisions of other states. Although rarely used in litigation, the PKPA requires courts to enforce, rather than to modify, the custody and visitation orders of other states. Once a state exercises jurisdiction, no other state may exercise concurrent jurisdiction.

International child abduction

Globalization and cross-cultural or international marriages and relationships that result in the birth of a child are on the rise. When these marriages end in divorce or the relationship breaks-up, international relocation and abduction by a parent suddenly becomes a real possibility. Many international child abductions are governed by The Hague Abduction Convention, which was adopted to protect children internationally from the harmful effects of their wrongful removal or retention, to establish procedures to ensure their prompt return to their habitual residence and to secure protection of parental rights to access the child.

The Hague Abduction Convention only governs abductions in which the child at issue is habitually a resident of a participating country and is removed to another participating country. In petitioning to invoke the protection of the Hague Abduction Convention, a petitioner must demonstrate that the other parent wrongfully removed or retained the child from their habitual residence, had rights of custody and was exercising those rights prior to the abduction, and the child is under 16 years of age. Although the Hague Abduction Convention may not apply, the International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act makes it a federal criminal offense for a parent to wrongfully remove or attempt to remove or retain a child outside the United States with the intent to obstruct custodial rights.

The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. has secured the return of children from or to a number of countries worldwide, including:

  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iran
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Spain
  • South Africa
  • Sweden
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Venezuela

Contact a Miami international family law attorney to schedule an appointment

We have a thorough understanding of the complicated legal issues and government entities commonly involved in interstate and international parental kidnapping. We are committed to doing everything we can to bring your child home as soon as possible. If your child has been abducted, or if you believe abduction is imminent, call The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. at 305-670-8656 or contact us online. Our office is located near the Dadeland South Metrorail. Se habla español.

Lawrence  S.  Katz Attorney Photo
Lawrence S. Katz

For many years, Lawrence S. Katz has helped clients in Florida, throughout the United States and abroad. He has earned an excellent worldwide reputation for providing knowledgeable, quality representation in family law matters.

Client Reviews
  • "Attorney Katz has a keen sense for understanding the overall situation and immediately formulating an action plan. He is direct, succinct and effective. I highly recommend Attorney Katz for his experience, integrity and results!" - Vivian

  • "Mr. Katz is the best divorce lawyer in the Miami area. Very knowledgeable and experienced. We had a difficult case and he delivered impressive result. His assistant Fanny it is a great asset to that office as well." - Georgette

  • "My case was a complex one and Mr. Katz provided me with a course of action that led to a favorable outcome. He is clearly knowledgeable and experienced but he is also very prompt. He is always available to answer questions via email, Skype or phone. As an overseas client this was very important to me. I would definitely recommend Mr. Katz especially for international divorce and custody cases." - Anonymous

  • "I am extremely grateful to have had Larry represent me. In International Family Law I would say he has few, if any, equals." - Anonymous

  • "This divorce lawyer is excellent, charismatic, professional, and cares about the customer. I gave a case to him that it was impossible to solve, and he did solved the problem like it was very simple. He was always in touch and answering all my questions, either by phone or by email." - Manjit

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