Details of Treaty No.105

European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children
Title European Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children
Reference ETS No.105
Opening of the treaty Luxembourg, 20/05/1980  - Treaty open for signature by the member States and for accession by non-member States
Entry into Force 01/09/1983  - 3 Ratifications.
Summary

The Convention protects custody and access rights in international situations and provides for free, prompt, non-bureaucratic assistance from central authorities designated by each Party in discovering the whereabouts and restoring custody of a child improperly removed.

Application for the restoration of custody of a child may be made directly either to a court or to the central authorities of any Party concerned. Central authorities are required, inter alia:

  • to assist the applicants in their action;
  • to discover the whereabouts of the child;
  • to avoid, in particular by any necessary provisional measures, prejudice to the interests of the child or of the applicant;
  • to secure the recognition or enforcement of the custody decision;
  • to secure the delivery of the child to the applicant where enforcement is granted.

The Convention deals with various situations and offers specific solutions. For instance, if application is made within six months of the improper removal of a child, restoration of custody is to be immediate and subject to no condition other than the establishment of the facts:

  • that the child was improperly removed, that the child and both parents had as their sole nationality the nationality of the State in which the decision on custody was made and that, in addition, the child had his habitual residence in that State or,
  • that the child has not been repatriated after the exercise of access abroad, in violation of the conditions governing exercise of the right of access.

If these conditions are not met but the application is lodged within the six-month time-limit, restoration of custody is subject to stricter conditions. Once the six-month time-limit has expired, restoration of custody is subject to more numerous conditions, since the child may already be integrated into a different environment.


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