The Procedural Win: What you can learn from one father’s fight for custody (Part 4)

By Jennifer M. Paine

Attorney, Cordell & Cordell, P.C., Detroit office

Note: This is Part 4 of a four-part overview of the Goldman international custody battle, the Hague Convention treaty and some practical lessons for your case. Click here to read Part 1, click here to read Part 2, and click here to read Part 3.

What Should You Do If You Suspect International Child Abduction?

 

 

 

If you suspect your child has been abducted, contact the police immediately. Make a report, and exhaust all avenues in your jurisdiction to locate your child. Also contact NCMEC. NCMEC works with the Department of Justice and the Department of State to manage international child abduction cases. The NCMEC’s Central Authority department will accept your report and assign a caseworker to help you complete a set of documents called a Hague Convention Application. 

The Central Authority will also add your child to the national list of missing children and begin the process of locating the child in the United States, if possible, through school, employment, financial, social security, police, medical and other public records. If unsuccessful, the Central Authority will locate an attorney licensed to practice in the country where your child is believed to be, who will litigate the case on your behalf. 

If you do not exceed certain household income levels, you may qualify for no- or low-cost services. You should contact an attorney immediately for assistance, as there are time limits as short as one year that may apply. 

Family members go to court everyday to fight for children without a reporter or film crew, politician or protester in sight. Their cases may not span overseas. They may not feature young, successful models, globe-trotting relatives and attorneys worth hundreds of thousands fighting it out on the world stage and in the press.  But for them, the sense of urgency, of fight-to-the-death-cuz-my-kids-are-on-the-line is just as real as David Goldman’s battle in Brazil. And just as real to both is the key to effective advocacy: knowing how procedural posture affects your case.

Note: This is Part 4 of a four-part overview of the Goldman international custody battle, the Hague Convention treaty and some practical lessons for your case. Click here to read Part 1, click here to read Part 2, and click here to read Part 3.

 

Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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