The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction

Attorney Bryce Neier of Fayetteville, North Carolina, focuses on family law, including property division, divorce, and child custody, particularly cases involving servicemen and -women at nearby Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. Bryce Neier is also experienced in cases of international child abduction.

Many such cases fall under the jurisdiction of the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, which went into force in 1980 and is honored by some 50 countries, including the United States. Abductions have risen in frequency because of increases in the divorce rate, international travel, and bicultural marriages.

This treaty presumes that the proper place for children to live is in their nation of “habitual residence.” Taking children from these locations presents many problems for them and for the parents who are left behind. The convention works to permit a timely return of children to nations where their interests are best served. Even if the children were born in America, their nation of habitual residence could be another country.

Limitations of the convention include a maximum period of one year for filing a lawsuit. Returns are prohibited when doing so would expose a child to a harmful situation or when a child is mature enough to object to the return. In addition, if the return would violate a country’s laws regarding human rights, it might not proceed.


Author: Bryce Neier

Attorney Bryce Neier practices through his private firm, The Law Office of Bryce D. Neier, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Focused on issues that strongly effect families, Neier has chosen to center his practice on complex divorce proceedings and child custody issues, and involves himself in many aspects of civil rights litigation. He regularly contributes his time to the Alliance Defense Fund to help protect concepts such as religious freedom and traditional family values. Neier brings real-world experience to the table outside of the legal field. Prior to attending law school, Bryce Neier, a nominee to the United States Military Academy at West Point, attended Stetson University on an Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps scholarship. After receiving his Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Finance, Neier served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany for five years. He received both an Army Achievement Medal and an Army Commendation Medal and attained the rank of Captain before leaving active duty to pursue a legal career. A member of the North Carolina State Bar, Neier completed his Juris Doctor through Campbell University School of Law in Buies Creek, North Carolina. With professional experience spanning two decades, Neier began his career during his final year of law school when he served as a Law Clerk for the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the District of South Carolina. Upon the completion of his degree, he was appointed to an Assistant Public Defender position in the state of North Carolina. He later went on to practice as an Associate at the Law Office of H. Terry Hutchens; from there he went on to practice as a Partner at The Law Firm of Brown and Neier. Bryce Neier attends Hay Street United Methodist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Neier also regularly contributes to multiple charities including the ChildFund, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Smile Train Inc., an organization that helps to provide cleft lip and palate surgeries for children in developing countries.

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