US Supreme Court: Chilean Court Order Barring Removal of American Child From Chile Confers Right of Custody Under Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

American Mother and British Father live with their Child, a US citizen, in Chile.

A Chilean family court awards Mother custody of Child in divorce.

The Chilean court also enters a ne exeat order barring Mother from removing Child from the nation of Chile without Father’s consent.

Without Father’s permission, Mother leaves with Child for Texas.

Father files in the US for return of Child to Chile under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The federal trial court denies Father’s application, holding that the travel restriction does not confer custodial rights on Father which would afford him standing to file under the Hague Convention. Same result at the intermediate federal appellate court.

Father files for review by the US Supreme Court.

And the High Court holds that the ne exeat order does in fact confer a right of custody as that term is used in the Hague Convention, and that the ban on removal of the Child from Chile may be enforced under the Hague Convention by an application for return of the Child.

The Court did not rule on Child’s return, however, remanding for further findings of fact with regard to applicability of certain exceptions to return specified under the Hague Convention.

Read more in this UK Family Law Week article: US Supreme Court decides that ne exeat rights are ‘rights of custody’ and this National Law Journal article: International Abduction Treaty Trumps Parental Rights, Says U.S. Supreme Court.