International Parental Child Abduction

English

Country Information

Serbia

Serbia
Republic of Serbia
Exercise normal precautions in Serbia.

Exercise normal precautions in Serbia. 

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

If you decide to travel to Serbia:

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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 Belgrade

Bulevar kneza Aleksandra Karadordevica 92
11040 Belgrade
Serbia
Telephone:
+(381) (11) 706-4000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(381) (11) 706-4000
Fax: +(381) (11) 706-4481
Email: belgradeacs@state.gov

General Information

Serbia 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.

For information concerning travel to Serbia, 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 Serbia.

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 Serbia.  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:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax: 202-485-6221
Website

The Serbian Central Authority (SCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is located in the Ministry of Justice.  The SCA has an administrative role in processing Hague applications.  The Ministry of Justice forwards completed Hague applications to the competent civil court in the jurisdiction where the child resides. The SCA can be reached at:

Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia
International Legal Assistance Department
St. Nemanjina 22-26
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia
Tel.: +381 (11) 3622 356
Fax: +381 (11) 3622 356
E-mail: int.legal.assist.srb@mpravde.gov.rs
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Serbia, 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 to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the SCA.  It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Serbian.  Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the SCA, 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 Serbian central authorities.  Attorney fees are the responsibility of the applicant parent.  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, Serbia.  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 Serbia.  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 Serbian federal government is extremely supportive of mediation programs to resolve international parental abduction cases. While courts cannot order cases into mediation, judges can and do strongly encourage mediated resolutions and can stay hearings to permit parties the time to mediate. The SCA and the judge hearing the Hague case work together to identify cases that are potentially suitable for mediated resolutions and make recommendations accordingly. Participation in mediation is voluntary. 

Mediation

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, Serbia.  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.

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. 

 

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Belgrade
Bulevar kneza Aleksandra
Karadordevica 92
11040 Belgrade
Serbia
Telephone
+(381) (11) 706-4000
Emergency
+(381) (11) 706-4000
Fax
+(381) (11) 706-4481
Serbia Map