November 22, 2017

Thailand Child Abduction

In the context of Thailand family law, child abduction cases typically occur during a child custody dispute, when one parent flees a legal jurisdiction with any children who are the subjects of the dispute. International law and Thailand family law may come into play when a child is abducted from a foreign country and taken to Thailand, when a child is taken from Thailand to a foreign country, or when a child is abducted by a parent within Thailand.

What should I do if my child is abducted and taken to Thailand?

The first thing a parent must do if a child has been abducted and taken to Thailand is to contact legal authorities, their embassy in Thailand, and an attorney who can help put you in touch with family law attorneys in Thailand.

Can the Hague Convention on Child Abduction be used in Thailand?

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction provides a procedure for parents who have had their children abducted by the other parent. The Hague Treaty on Child Abduction is executed through the governments of treaty member countries, but normally requires an attorney to file the appropriate documents with the government authority responsible for the retrieval of the child.

Thailand has been a signatory to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction for many years.  However prior to 2011 there was no internal domestic law facilitating direct enforcement of the Hague Convention by an aggreived parent.  Since 2011 Thailand has promulgated its own domestic law to provide for enforcement of the Hague Convention and its terms within the Thailand legal system. This means that currently an aggrieved parent can request the Thailand Courts or the Attorney General Office of Thailand to take action pursuant to teh Hague Treaty ob Child Abduction.

What is the procedure for retrieving a child who has been taken to Thailand?

For cases occurring within Thailand, wherein a child that has been abducted in Thailand by a parent in Thailand, the parent who is seeking the return of the child must seek a custody ruling from a Thai Family Court. Once full custody has been obtained, a parent may use the Courts to issue a demand that the abducting parent attend Thai Court and return the child.

For international abduction, the Hague Convention may also be used.  Since 2011 Thailand’s Child Abduction Act has been in effect, making it easier to require the return of a child to his or her country of residence.