MontenegroOfficial Name: Montenegro
Embassies and Consulates
Dzona Dzeksona 2
Telephone: 382 20 410 500
Montenegro and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since December 1, 1991, when it was part of Yugoslavia. Following establishment of independence in 2006, Montenegro declared itself bound by this Convention on March 1, 2007.
For information concerning travel to Montenegro, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Montenegro at: http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_2974.html
Hague Abduction Convention
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Montenegro. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Montenegro Central Authority (MCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice. The MCA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications. The MCA forwards completed Hague petitions to the competent civil court within the jurisdiction of the child’s location. The MCA can be reached at:
Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Montenegro
Vuka Karadžica br. 3
81 000 Podgorica
Tel.: +382 (20) 407 512
Fax: +382 (20) 407 515
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Montenegro, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the MCA. It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Montenegrin, Serbian, Bosnian, or Croatian. Please note, however, certified translations are not necessary.
The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the MCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the U.S. or Montenegro central authorities. Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant parent or legal guardian. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Montenegro. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Montenegro. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Retaining an Attorney
The Montenegro legal system does not require parents to retain a private attorney in order to file a Hague Abduction Convention petition with a court; however, the MCA recommends that parents have legal representation. Parents may hire a private attorney to assist them with their case and to advise them as to the best course of action for their individual circumstances. A parent who hires private counsel should notify both the Montenegro and the U.S. central authorities.
The U.S. Embassy in Podgorica, Montenegro, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law at: http://podgorica.usembassy.gov/attorneylist.html
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The MCA promotes mediation in abduction cases and will attempt to initiate mediation in Hague Abduction Convention cases. While courts cannot order mediation, judges can and do strongly encourage mediated resolutions and can stay hearings to permit parties the time to mediate.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.