International child abduction. Part 5. Russian Lawyer Anton Zharov

How can the court decision be enforced?

The child was returned. But what to do if the parent-abductor doesn’t return the child’s passport?

How is the communication between the parent-abductor and the child built in the future?

What if the child is against the court decision and won’t go back with the parent?

Let’s sum up.

Hello, my name is Anton Zharov. I am a Russian lawyer, practise in Moscow, we are talking about international child abduction.

Last time I told you how the judicial procedure on child return would be held under the international treaty. But any court decision after that shall be enforced. And now about it. 

How can the court decision be enforced?

In the Russian Federation there is provided a special service to enforce court decisions which is called Bailiffs. 

If a defendant doesn’t enforce the court decision voluntarily, then Bailiffs will oblige him or her to give the child to the parent with who he or she will return back to the country where he or she was abducted from. However, there is often a problem to find the child. But in this situation the police and Bailiffs already know what to do.

The child was returned. But what to do if the parent-abductor doesn’t return the child’s passport?

If the child is the citizen of another state besides the Russian Federation, then you apply to the Embassy of this state and receive the so-called travel documents – the documents with which you can return to the country that you left. It doesn’t cause serious problems and takes about an hour. 

If the child is just the citizen of the Russian Federation then you have to raise the issue in the court to oblige the parent to return you child’s foreign passport. Such resolutions exist and can be enforced rather efficiently.

How is the communication between the parent-abductor and the child built in the future?

After taking the decision about child return under the international treaty all the issues about child custody, about how the child would communicate with the second parent, where he or she will live and etc. will be resolved by the court of the state where the child permanently resides. That is why all these issues will be resolved now beyond the border of the Russian Federation. 

What if the child is against the court decision and won’t go back with the parent?

The issue of enforcement of court decision on child return is not that simple as it seems. Indeed, children happen to get frightened, they don’t want to leave with the parent that the court binds over and etc. First of all, in this case there should be invited a psychologist to enforce such a decision and the lawyer who will represent your interests, will help with this. And after all, to persuade the child to go with you. If the court decision is taken with regard to child’s view, usually no problem appear. If the child is too small, then you just need to persuade.

Let’s sum up

Here are all the main points that you need to know if your child was abducted to the Russian Federation. Let’s sum up.

The most important thing that you should understand if your child was removed wrongfully abroad, is that you should undertake efforts at his or her return forthwith, the very next day when the child was wrongfully removed. Even though the Convention binds over the most expeditious procedures available nevertheless it drags for months, and the earlier you start, the sooner the child returns home.

Secondly, you will definitely need a lawyer in the country where the child was abducted to, because without the lawyer, for example, in Russian courts it will be extremely difficult for you, if not to say, impossible.

Thirdly, you will need a lawyer in your country because as a rule there will be objections to child return and there will be needed the evidence that refute the arguments of the adversary. 

And the last. A lot of people give up the procedure of child return because they believe that it is almost unrealized, that it is extremely difficult. That is not so. Apply to the lawyer in Russia and most likely your issue will be resolved without much effort from your side.

Certainly, you will have to visit Russia several times but it’s not that frightening as it seems to you. 

In this country it is customary to stick to your word and keep a promise. Russia has signed the Hague Convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction and fulfils it. Children that were removed to the Russian Federation wrongfully, return home.

My name is Anton Zharov, I am a Russian lawyer, practise in Moscow. We talked about civil law aspects of international child abduction. On my website there is a lot of information including in English about family law in Russia. Please, address there. If you need a consultation you can make an appointment distantly, by using skype or other means of communication but I hope you won’t need my assistance.