Travel.State.Gov > International Parental Child Abduction > Country Information > Hungary International Parental Child Abduction Information
Hungary 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 July 1, 1988.
For information concerning travel to Hungary, 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 Hungary.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The report is located here.
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 Hungary. 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
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
The Hungarian Central Authority (HCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law, located in the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice. The Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law performs several functions, including processing applications under the Hague Abduction Convention, contacting the alleged abducting parent to inquire about a voluntary resolution, and performing searches for missing children. The HCA can be reached at:
Ministry of Public Administration and Justice
Department of Justice Cooperation and Private International Law
P.O. Box 2
Kossuth tér 2-4.
tel.: +36 (1) 795-4846
fax: +36 (1) 795-0463
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Hungary, 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 HCA. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the HCA, 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 Hungarian central authorities. The HCA assigns a pro bono (no fee) attorney to represent parents making an application for return or access under the Hague Abduction Convention. 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, Hungary. 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 Hungary. 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.
The HCA will arrange for a pro bono attorney to represent applicant parents who are seeking a child’s return under the Hague Abduction Convention. A left-behind parent is not required to retain an attorney privately, and if he/she elects to do so, the parent is responsible for all legal costs. A private attorney should contact the HCA prior to filing a Hague return application directly with the court.
The U.S. Embassy in Budapest, Hungary, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.
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 HCA does not provide mediation services directly, although the HCA is available to provide referrals and information about the mediation process. Mediation costs are borne by the parents and mediation can occur at any stage of the Hague process. The Hungarian legal system allows for mediation on issues related to access and relocation, but not on custody, guardianship, or paternity.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.
For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney.
Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.
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.