Lawyer Stephan Sander - Berlin

Stephan Sander

Specialist lawyer for
international family law

Berlin Steglitz-Zehlendorf



Requirements for an application under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (HCCAICA)

A repatriation takes place under the following requirements:

  • The child must not have reached the age of 16 (Art. 4 cl. 2 HCCAICA).
  • The habitual residence of the child was in the country of the remaining parent before the transfer (Art. 3 par. 1 a) HCCAICA).
  • At the time of removal or retention, the remaining parent must at least have had joint custody and actually exercised this right (Art. 3 par. 1 b) HCCAICA).
  • The convention was also in force between the states concerned at the time of the abduction (Art. 35 par. 1 HCCAICA).
  • The remaining parent must apply for repatriation no later than one year after the removal (Art. 12 par. 1 HCCAICA), otherwise proof of the transferring parent that the child has settled into its new environment is sufficient for repatriation prevent (Art. 12 par. 2 HCCAICA).

Habitual residence

The child's center of life represents the child's habitual residence. This requires the child to stay there for a certain period of time. Family or professional relationships also play a central role.

Exercising effective custody

There are no high requirements for exercising actual custody. Regular personal or telephone contact with the child or exercising the right of access are sufficient.

Acclimatization of the child in the new living environment

The child has become accustomed to his new living environment if there are stable family and social conditions, the new living environment is in the best interests of the child and the child does not ask for repatriation.


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