In cases of child abduction in the USA, a parent applying to a US court for the return of a child must reckon with legal costs of US$ 40 000 or more for the procedure, despite receiving support from the Central Authority. If a child is returned under the Hague Convention from Switzerland to the US, the legal costs incurred in the ensuing custody proceedings in the US courts may amount to several times this amount. Because of the difference in the standard of living between Switzerland and the US, even applicants who live on a low-income in Switzerland are not entitled to legal aid in the US courts. Custody proceedings in the US courts can last several years. During this time the parent in Switzerland may only be granted very limited visitation rights.
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