November 01, 2020 Feature

Mediating International Child Abductions

Melissa Kucinski

There are fewer extreme positions in family law than in international parental child abduction cases, where each parent is fighting for the child to live with him or her, thousands of miles away from the other parent. In comes mediation. Mediation is routinely used in family courts throughout the United States to manage overflowing case dockets and to uncover a middle ground. It seems impossible to imagine a middle ground between two feuding parents in different parts of the globe. A judge, particularly one in a Hague Child Abduction lawsuit, is limited to a very singular outcome—the child goes back from where she came or stays where she is now located to then allow the parents to litigate custody in the appropriate jurisdiction. But mediation can generate more creative options and resolve more than just the preliminary issue of where the child will sit while litigation rages on.

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