Wersja twojej przeglądarki jest przestarzała. Zalecamy zaktualizowanie przeglądarki do najnowszej wersji.

Robert Openhowski
Adwokat amerykański
w Stanie Nowy Jork
Solicitor w Anglii i Walii
Okregowa Rada Adwokacka
w Warszawie

Kancelaria Prawa Amerykańskiego w Polsce

adw. Robert Openhowski, Esq.

ul. Prusa 2.

00-493 Warszawa

Telefon bezposredni:   (+48) 665-306-600
 E-MAIL:  openhowski@op.pl


The traditional remedy for international child abduction is a petition under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction of 1980. The convention procedure still may, and frequently is, used between both EU and non-EU member countries.
The petition under Hague Convention may be filed through a so called Central Authority ( eg.: US Department od State in the US or Solicitors' General Office in UK) or directly with Polish Ministry of Justice or even with a local family court where the child is physically present. 
In Poland, the Hague Convention cases are heard before family courts. It bears important practical consequences. Family court judges tend to rule in the "best interest of the child." This concept, though with very limited use in the Hague Convention cases, is what the family courts have been established for and works fine in local cases. International convention has a different purpose and is a legal mean of restoring the situation from before the abduction.
The convention permits the courts not to order the return of the child if it would pose a risk of physical or psychological harm or otherwise would put the child in an untolerable situation. But those terms should be interpreted narrowly. Every country has it's own interpretations of grave risk of harm, untolerable situation and best ineterst of the child, made by their supreme courts decisions.
There are only about 70 HC cases filed with the Polish authorities per year. Courts, and even more so local lawyers, do not have much experience in dealing with them. The greatest challange for a legal counsel dealing with this type of case in Poland is to overcome family court's judges inclination to look into every aspect of child and parents live and try to determine whether the return lies in child's interest. This is not the Hague Convention standard and evidentiary objections should be raised over and over during the course of trial.
Almost all Haguse Convention cases end up in appellatte court. Those higher courts tend to have a more civilistic approach to law and are more likely to apply the international convention strictly as is. But, for example a media attention, and those cases do get media attention frequently, may endanger your case even before appellate judges, especially in small communities. 
Another aspect worth looking at is the fact that a mother will never give up a child no matter how high is her regard to the system of justice. I know of cases won in Polish court by foreign fathers, and mother living in hiding with their children for months and even years. So, please remember, I can win the case for you in a court of law, but bear in mind that there will be no winner in real life, unless you two can reach some kind of an agreement, with which both of you will be able to live. No agreement will satisfy both of you or even any one of you, but it will make possible for you two to move forward no matter how hard it is. And I wish you just that.