If your child is taken from their home country without your permission, or without the authorisation of a court, then the Hague Convention may apply. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty under which arrangements are made for the return of children that have been wrongfully removed or retained outside their country of residence.

The Convention aims to:

  • secure the prompt return of a child wrongfully removed to or retained in a country which is party to the Convention
  • ensure that rights of custody and/or access of the state of origin are respected, with judgement on the custody to be rendered in that country, on the assumption that the court in the country of habitual residence is best able to make decision for the child, and
  • ensure the relevant court in the country of habitual residence is best able to make decisions for the children.

The Convention operates under the following specific conditions:

  • it applies only between contracting states, and so only has force where both countries are signatories to the Convention
  • it applies only to matters where the subject child is under the age of 16.
  • the child must have habitually resided in a contracting state directly before rights of custody or access were breached.

Should you require any advice on Hague Convention matters I can provide sound advice to assist you with your circumstances. I am in constant contact with my overseas clients, keeping them regularly updated about the status of their matters. I can also coordinate conference calls, taking into account time differences and facilities.

Talk to Matthew


Level 57, MLC Centre,

19 -29 Martin Place

Sydney,NSW 2000