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All Over the Map

Globalization, ease of travel, emerging markets, and greater mobility make it easier for people to work, live, marry, and establish homes in different parts of the world. When a marriage dissolves between spouses from different countries or when a couple resides in a foreign country, competing foreign jurisdictions can add complexity to an already messy situation, especially in child custody matters. The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction, a multilateral treaty currently ratified by 93 countries as of March 2016, provides an expeditious protocol for the return of a child unilaterally removed by a parent from one member country to another. 

However, various U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals have developed different definitions of “habitual residence.” Essentially, some circuits are following a “child-centered approach” while others are applying a “parental-intent” analysis. In September’s Illinois Bar Journal, Molshree “Molly” Sharma examines the seventh circuit’s attempts to resolve these differing approaches. She also explains how variations in different countries’ definitions of “custody” may significantly impact the court’s determination of the child’s habitual residence.

Read more in the September issue of the Illinois Bar Journal.

Posted on September 10, 2018 by Rhys Saunders
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