Treaty will end wife flouting visitation.


            Posted on Dec 10,2006   

            Treaty will end wife's flouting visitation.

Q.   After a long battle, the court in my country granted me lots of visitation with my 16-month-old daughter. The court also ordered that my ex-wife pay damages if she failed to provide the visitation.

Just three months later, my ex took our daughter to Massachusetts.

What can I do to see my daughter and get her back home?

Anonymous, Germany

A.  The good news is both Germany and the USA have adopted and ratified the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

You need to file a complaint with either the Federal in Boston or a Massachusetts state court asking for an order granting you temporary custody of your daughter for the purpose of returning her to Germany. Also ask for a writ of habeas corpus, which requires the authorities to arrest your ex and bring her to court.

At that point, if the court finds your ex has no grounds to claim you are dangerous to the child, you should get temporary custody and permission to immediately return her to your country.

If, as it often happens, your ex-wife claims you are a danger, she has to prove her case by providing clear and convincing evidence. The court usually reaches a decision within six weeks. So, while you may have to spend time here and pay for a lawyer, you should still end up with permission to take your child home.