Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Brazil and International Child Abduction

by Jeremy D. Morley

From an expert report that I prepared recently - and that was submitted to a California court - on Brazil's practices concerning international child abduction:

"Congress requires the U.S. State Department to determine the compliance by U.S. treaty partners with the Convention. The State Department's annual Compliance Reports are, in my opinion, extremely reliable and authoritative (although often unduly restrained and "diplomatic").

In its most recent report the U.S. State Department has singled out just five countries as being either ‘Not Compliant' with the Hague Convention or as demonstrating ‘Patterns of Non-Compliance with the Convention.' Brazil is one of the five countries. Indeed, in each such report for the past five years Brazil has been declared to be ‘Not Compliant' or to demonstrate ‘Patterns of Non-Compliance.'

Brazil is the only country with the dubious distinction of having been singled out in that way in each and every such annual report.

It is my opinion that, when a court is asked to bar a child's overseas visitation, it should balance the extent of the risk that a particular parent will abduct the child with the extent of the risk that the foreign legal system will not promptly effectively return the child if the child is retained in that country.

At one extreme is a child's potential visit to a non-Hague country that is a well-established safe haven for international child abduction such as India or that clearly does not adequately comply with the Convention such as Brazil.

In my opinion, a court should require far fewer warning signs that indicate that the parent might keep the child in such a country in order to justify - and to necessitate - an injunction barring such travel, since the risk of a mistake is so extremely high.

This office handles many international family law cases that have a Brazilian connection, working with counsel in Brazil as appropriate, including:
-Prenuptial agreements with a Brazilian connection

-Divorce cases with a Brazilian connection
-International child abductions to and from Brazil

-Child relocation and child custody cases with a Brazilian connection
-Expert testimony as to Brazil and international child abduction

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