Language Translation and International Family Law after Abbott v. Abbott

Professional legal translation and court interpretation services are vital for international matrimonial law cases. The US Supreme Court recently decided on the Hague Convention case of Abbott v. Abbott. The issue in question was whether a foreign law or order barring a custodial parent from moving a child out of the country gives the non-custodial parent rights of custody that are protected by the Convention. In other words, if a custodial parent violates the home country’s laws or a court order by moving their child to the US without permission from either the other parent or a court, can the non-custodial parent order the child back under the Convention?

According to the US Supreme Court, the answer is ‘yes’. Although this decision is not much of a surprise, as this is how many local and foreign courts have interpreted the Convention, it does legitimize a powerful tool for non-custodial parents. As with international convention, multiple jurisdictions are involved, meaning that all court orders and local laws will require a foreign language translation in order to demonstrate that the custodial parent acted wrongly in moving the child.

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