Has your child been taken or kept by the other parent without your consent? Are you worried that this might happen? If your child has been wrongfully taken, the family law attorneys at Maddox & Gerock, P.C. will vigorously pursue all avenues available to you through Virginia courts and foreign countries to seek the safe return of your child.
Our experienced lawyers can help you enforce existing child custody and visitation orders as well as locate and return children who have been wrongfully taken or detained. We strive to enforce court orders so that your children can enjoy the relationships described in the order.
Experienced in Cases Extending Worldwide
Our practice in this area goes beyond the United States; we handle domestic relations issues where one of the parties is a Virginia resident. The attorneys of our law firm have detailed knowledge of related pertinent legislation, including:
- Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act (PKPA): The PKPA governs when other states must give full faith and credit to Virginia child custody determinations, and limits the authority of Virginia courts to exercise jurisdiction when a custody proceedings is pending in another state, or a court of another state has made prior custody determinations.
- Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA): The UCCJEA describes a court's jurisdiction to make custody determinations and to modify existing decrees when a child, parent, or person acting as a parent lives or is present in another state at the time an action is commenced, a custody proceeding is pending in another state, or an existing custody decree is presented to a Virginia court from another state. The purpose of the UCCJEA is to avoid conflicting custody orders and simultaneous custody proceedings in different states and to comply with the PKPA.
- Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: This is an international agreement signed by many nations that requires the return of an abducted child to the country where the child habitually resides. It allows issues of custody and visitation to be decided by the courts of that country.
- International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA)
If your child has been abducted or wrongfully retained, we can begin an investigation to locate the child whether or not there was an order in place at the time of the abduction or wrongful retention. Many cases of international parental child abduction are actually cases in which the child traveled to a foreign country with the approval of both parents but was later prevented from returning to the United States.
Please contact our lawyers as soon as possible with any concerns about a possible child abduction or wrongful retention. We will respond quickly and help you understand the legal issues involved. For further information about a variety of legal topics please visit our E-Newsletter, our Web Blog our Family Law Information Center, or our Child Custody & Visitation Practice Center.