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Understanding The Hague Convention: Serving legal documents abroad

Dear Clients and Friends:

When dealing with matters that extend beyond our State or Country, it’s crucial to ensure that legal documents are properly served across international borders.

The Hague Convention on the service abroad of Judicial and non-judicial Documents in Civil Matters, commonly known as the Hague Service Convention, provides the framework for serving legal documents in foreign countries. Understanding and utilizing The Hague Convention procedures are essential when dealing with international family law matters.

A general overview of the steps involved starts with determining the appropriate method of service allowed under the Hague Convention for the country where service is to be made.

Prepare the documents for service in accordance with that country's requirements in the Hague Convention, including completing the appropriate forms and providing translations if necessary. Submit the documents to the U.S. State Department, which will then forward the documents to the Central Authority in the destination country and then await confirmation of service from the destination country’s Central Authority.

The fees associated with using The Hague Convention procedures vary depending upon the countries involved in your process.

Professional help on these matters is the norm. Do contact us if we can be of help to you or your associates and friends.



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