Last December 2022, H&P advised on two different cases of international abduction of minors into Thailand. Both cases shared some similarities and had in common than one of the spouses brought from the country of residence, without the consent of the other, the descendant to the jurisdiction of Thailand. Our H&P Bangkok Litigators would like to share some guidelines and relevant aspects of this type of cases based on our professional legal experience.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction is the treaty that provides a method to return a child internationally abducted, or kidnapped, by a parent from one member country to another.
The convention was drafted to ensure the prompt return of children who have been abducted from the country of habitual residence or wrongfully retained in a contracting state, meaning not the country of habitual residence.
Our jurisdiction, Thailand, has signed the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction.
If your country of residence is a member or signatory of this Convention, the procedure stated in the Hague Convention shall be applied in order to return the abducted child.
The international abduction stated in the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction refers to the illegal removal of a child from their habitual residence/ country by an acquaintance or family member to a foreign country.
1) Copies of birth certificate of the children
2) Copies of court orders/ agreements supporting the claim of custodial rights (if any)
3) Copies of passports of the children
4) Location and contact information of the children
5) Photograph of the children (in color and clearly visible)
6) Marriage Certificate (if any)
7) Divorce Certificate (if any)
According to our Bangkok lawyers experience in cases of international abduction of minors, the proceeding would be as follows:
We strongly suggest appointing a lawyer in Thailand to liaise with the government agency and related person on behalf you. This is quite important to avoid language and cultural barriers when it comes to work with the Thai government to return the child to its original place of residence.
In Thailand, the Office of the Attorney General is the government department that is responsible to review the facts and application.
The applicant must fill in the information in the form and submit the required documents stated above to the Office of the Attorney General.
After the application is reviewed, the officer shall appoint the person in charge (PIC) to liaise with the local investigator/ policeman and necessary department. It is highly advisable that this person is a lawyer in Thailand.
The court will issue an order to return the children to the residential country.
In the meantime, and before we have a court order, concurrently, the public prosecutor shall file a petition requesting the court to have an order prohibiting anyone from moving or detain the child, or his or her occupants, to remove the child from his or her place of residence until the return is completed or until the court orders stated otherwise.
Our law firm in Thailand can work with the Attorney General or the person authorized by the Attorney General on the following matters:
1) Consider the application and take the final decision to accept or decline.
2) Liaise with the related government department in Thailand and abroad.
3) Investigate the residential place of the child in Thailand.
4) Determine the necessary procedure to protect the interests of the child.
5) Exchange the information regarding the child
If you need the services of a lawyer in Thailand to advice on a case of international abduction of children in Thailand, please contact our Bangkok lawyers at [email protected]