On March 1, 2013, South Korea adopted and ratified The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (concluded 25 October 1980). The main goal of the Hague Child Abduction Treaty is to protect children under the age of 16 from being illegally removed or wrongfully retained in a signatory state. The Hague Child Abduction Treaty, in short, empowers courts and government to allow a parent to return an abducted child to the nation the child was abducted from.
In the event that your child/children was abducted to South Korea. You should, immediately:
- Hire a Korean law firm with experience dealing with Hague Child Abduction cases for non-Korean national parents;
- Your lawyer, in Korea, should in most cases, file for assistance to the Ministry of Justice of Korea in order to locate the whereabouts of the child, facilitate judicial proceedings and to ensure the safe return of the abducted child;
- Your Korean lawyer should file a case, in most cases, for the return of the child to the Seoul Family Court (sole jurisdiction over this international abduction cases);
- Your Korean lawyer may, also, file for preliminary injunctive relief and ask that the abducting parent to be prevented from taking any other action that shall further be detrimental to the welfare of the child, including removing the child to a third country; and
- In some cases, your attorney in Korea may advise that you file a criminal complaint at the commencement or during the matter (Article 287 or Article 288 of Criminal Act of Korea).
The major thing that is necessary is to act quickly. You must retain an expert in international child abduction in Korea – immediately. Timing requirements under the Treaty requires prompt action. Korean courts handle very few Child Abduction Cases under the Hague Convention of Child Abduction and, thus, lawyers with experience play a major part in educating the courts on the proper application of this treaty.
IPG Legal is happy to have successfully handled and resolved numerous Child Abduction Cases in Korea. We, recently, received a decision for a client that the abducting Korean mother should return the children of the marriage to the American father.
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