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Is USA court order /decree for child custody enforceable in other countries that don't have a Hague convention ?

Vienna, VA |

I have been granted the sole physical & legal custody of the child where the mother was absent for child custody trial. My wife ran away with the child to another country that does not have Hague convention with US.
I understand that I can get a warrant against her, child abduction etc and can take all possible actions against her in US. However, all I want to know if the USA court order that I have can it be enforceable in other countries like Japan?
Please let me know what actions i can take against her based on the usa court order i have. thanks

Sorry for the typo. My question was pertaining to India.

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Attorney answers 2


couple good reads to give you a basic idea--

You might also contact the Japanese embassy at and ask to speak to someone in their legal section.

Best option is retain a family law attorney in our area who has experince enforcing US court orders in Japan.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.


The prior attorney has laid out some good reads for you. For international child custody, it will be difficult because our laws and court decisions will not carry the same weight as it would between the states. You know that every country has their own laws and customs and what is acceptable here in the US will not be the same in the foreign country.

In specific, it really depends on the country where the ex has run off to. If it is indeed Japan, you will need to become familiar with the way that the Japanese courts work. The news articles you can find about such matters paint a very bleak picture for you if indeed this is the case. Your best option would be to find an attorney in the country where she has run off to and see how you can go about protecting your rights to the child using their system. The fact that you have a court order here in the US may help because it shows you are not just causing trouble, that you are indeed using the system to merely enforce your rights as you are granted by a court of law. How much influence will be up to the home court in that country.

Without knowing more information, it would be hard to say how you should go about proceeding on this matter. You can attempt to contact the State Department and see if they can refer you to a particular help desk or body that can provide you with further assistance.

This answer is provided as a general opinion to a question posted on an internet forum. This does not create in either party the expectation that an attorney-client relationship has been entered into between the original poster and the Law Office of Reid Seino, LLC. Any information provided should not be solely taken as legal advice but in the context of general information. Please seek legal representation for any specific legal questions.

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