International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Exercise normal precautions in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Exercise normal precautions in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis:

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Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
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Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown

Wildey Business Park
Wildey
St. Michael BB 14006
Barbados, W.I.

Telephone: +(246) 227-4399

Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(246) 227-4000

Fax: +(246) 431-0179

General Information

St. Kitts and Nevis 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 June 1, 1995.

For information concerning travel to St. Kitts and Nevis, 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 St. Kitts and Nevis.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

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 St. Kitts and Nevis.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website

The St. Kitts and Nevis Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Attorney General's Office (AG).  The AG's role is to perform the duties given to central authorities under the Hague Abduction Convention, including processing Hague Abduction Convention applications for return of and access to children. 
They can be reached at:

Attorney General's Chambers
Government HQ, Church Street
Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis
Telephone: + (869) 467-1013

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in St. Kitts and Nevis, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the St. Kitts and Nevis Central Authority.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the St. Kitts and Nevis Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are not fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or St. Kitts and Nevis central authorities.  Attorney fees, if necessary, are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

Return

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, St. Kitts and Nevis.  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.

Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in St. Kitts and Nevis.  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

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit Hague Abduction Convention applications to a court in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Attorney General's office will present the case to a court but does not represent either parent in the proceedings. If an applicant decides to hire a private attorney, the attorney should contact the Attorney General's Office as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed. Private attorney fees are the sole responsibility of the person hiring the attorney. The Legal Aid Centre in St. Kitts and Nevis may offer reduced fee or free legal services to parents with financial need. Questions about these services can be directed to the Director of Legal Aid at (+869) 466-5697. 

The U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados, which is accredited to St. Kitts and Nevis, posts a list of attorneys practicing in St. Kitts and Nevis.

This list and information regarding the Legal Aid Centre in St. Kitts is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any legal firm, entity, or 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 above and/or on the list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

The SKCA offers mediation at no cost to either party in Hague abduction cases before they enter the judicial stage. Interested parties may also contact the Attorney General's office or municipal authorities in St. Kitts and Nevis to seek assistance in mediating a pre-trial solution. Once a case enters the judicial phase, the family judge may seek to mediate a pre-trial solution using mediators appointed by the High Court. Questions about court appointed mediators can be directed to the High Court, at +869-465-2009/7003.

Exercising Custody Rights

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:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

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. 

 

Last Updated: June 26, 2018

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown
Wildey Business Park
Wildey
St. Michael BB 14006
Barbados, W.I.
Telephone
+(246) 227-4399
Emergency
+(246) 227-4000
Fax
+(246) 431-0179
Saint Kitts and Nevis Map