SWITZERLAND: Why American fathers are at risk of losing their kids in this European country

Married to a Swiss woman? Got divorced? Well you may want to think about whether she is likely to take your kids to Switzerland and you may want to ask the courts to take the children’s passports. Why? Because increasingly, Swiss mothers are taking their children from the United States to Switzerland, and even though Switzerland is a signatory of the Hague Convention, the Swiss law enforcement and the Swiss courts have been very reluctant if not defiant in terms of returning those kids to the U.S. left behind parent. In fact, the U.S. State Department has published a 2009 list of countries who exhibit a pattern of non-compliance with the Hague Convention and Switzerland was at the top of the list. The Swiss courts are prone to use “best interest” analysis in deciding to let the abducting mother keep the kids; and they sort of retry the custody case even though another country’s decision had either given joint custody or had forbidden the Swiss parent from removing the child from the jurisdiction of the original court; and this is in direct contradiction to the Hague Convention. Best Interest analysis should not be used and courts should not be retrying custody cases.
The Swiss claim they are working on bringing the country into greater compliance. But in the mean time, you may want to see to it that your ex wife does not have access to the kids’ passport (or even a private jet.)