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International Law & Litigation

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March 16, 2016

This document contains sample provisions for various orders relating to Hague Conventions cases.

Judge James Garbolino has prepared the attached sample order for this website. The sample order does not represent official policy or recommendations of the Federal Judicial Center.

This document is part of The 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction: A Resource for Judges, a Special Topic Webpage.

Downloadable files:
March 16, 2016

This order is a “bare bones” form, providing that a child be returned to his or her habitual residence in the company of either the mother or the father.  

Judge James Garbolino has prepared the attached sample order for this website. The sample order does not represent official policy or recommendations of the Federal Judicial Center.

This document is part of The 1980 Hague Convention on International Child Abduction: A Resource for Judges, a Special Topic Webpage.

Downloadable files:
March 15, 2016

This is an order with undertakings relating to:

     (a) custody arrangements between the parties upon return of the children;

     (b) enrollment of children in school upon return;

     (c) non-removal of children from a specified general area;

     (d) not pursuing criminal charges relating to the abduction of the children; and

     (e) details of how the children will be escorted back to their habitual residence.  

March 15, 2016

This form is for a consent order of return.  It sets forth precise dates and times for the child to be transported back to the habitual residence along with standard boilerplate provisions directing law enforcement’s assistance in enforcing the order.

Judge James Garbolino has prepared the attached sample order for this website. The sample order does not represent official policy or recommendations of the Federal Judicial Center.

March 15, 2016

This form is a Safe Harbor Order.  It is designed to detail the conditions that will exist in the habitual residence upon the child’s return. 

This order presumes

     (1) the parties are agreeable to the conditions of return, and

     (2) will obtain an order from the appropriate court in the habitual residence that accepts the parties agreement and will order them to comply with it. 

Downloadable files:
March 15, 2016

How do I determine whether the treaty is “in force” between the U.S. and the other country involved?

The issue whether the Convention is “in force” between states can be complex. There are differences between the processes by which a state can be bound by the treaty, specifically between those who are “member states” and those who become “party states.” Member states are those states that were members of The Hague Conference on Private International Law at the time of adoption of the Child Abduction Convention at the 14th Session in 1980.

March 14, 2016

Securing Counsel

The United States ratified The Hague Convention with a reservation as to Article 26 relating to legal representation. Because of this reservation, U.S. courts are not required to appoint counsel to represent parties in Convention cases. Nor is the federal government required to assume any costs or expenses resulting from the participation of attorneys or from court proceedings in Hague Convention cases.

Downloadable files:
March 14, 2016

What is a Central Authority?

The 1980 Hague Convention requires that each signatory nation designate a Central Authority to assist in carrying out duties concerning the operation of the Convention.1 In the United States, the Central Authority is the U.S. State Department, Office of Children’s Issues.2

Downloadable files:
March 14, 2016

What role do the concepts of “best interests” or “welfare of the child” play in deciding a Hague case for return of a child?

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March 13, 2016

 How do I evaluate the assertion that the child objects to return?

Article 13 of the Convention states that a court “may refuse to order the return of the child if it finds that the child objects to being returned and has attained an age and degree of maturity at which it is appropriate to take account of its views.” The party resisting return must prove this defense by a preponderance of the evidence.1

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