One of the first questions asked is often What Will It Cost Me To Get Access Under The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction?
The Convention does not allow for each Central Authority to pass on the costs and expenses of the administration of its administration to an applicant who is seeking access or enforcement in a wrongful retention or wrongful removal case.
However, a contracting state is allowed to charge for the expenses incurred in implementing a return order, such as the costs of locating, apprehending and returning a child to a parent.
Additionally the court may make an order that an applicant be reimbursed by the offending parent for any travel expenses, lawyers, and other expenses incurred in enforcing their rights.
Each Central Authority shall bear its own costs in applying this Convention. Central Authorities and other public services of Contracting States shall not impose any charges in relation to applications submitted under this Convention. In particular, they may not require any payment from the applicant towards the costs and expenses of the proceedings or, where applicable, those arising from the participation of legal counsel or advisers. However, they may require the payment of the expenses incurred or to be incurred in implementing the return of the child. However, a Contracting State may, by making a reservation in accordance with Article 42, declare that it shall not be bound to assume any costs referred to in the preceding paragraph resulting from the participation of legal counsel or advisers or from court proceedings, except insofar as those costs may be covered by its system of legal aid and advice.
Upon ordering the return of a child or issuing an order concerning rights of access under this Convention, the judicial or administrative authorities may, where appropriate, direct the person who removed or retained the child, or who prevented the exercise of rights of access, to pay necessary expenses incurred by or on behalf of the applicant, including travel expenses, any costs incurred or payments made for locating the child, the costs of legal representation of the applicant, and those of returning the child.