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January 16, 2024 International Law

Hearing from Children in Family Law Proceedings

Presented by: Frances Goldsmith, Andreas Hanke, and Melissa A. Kucinski

Every country, but for the U.S., is a Contracting State to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States Parties to assure that children are afforded the right to freely express their views in all matters affecting that child. When a U.S. practitioner may need their custody order recognized in another country, it is vital to understand how that other country accounts for a child's views, because that will play a critical role in how a judge in that other country views the U.S. process, and, perhaps, whether their court will recognize the U.S. custody order. Panelists will share their observations of how children are heard in their respective countries - France, Germany, and the United States - to highlight similarities and differences so savvy practitioners can be better prepared to present their international custody case in their U.S. state court.