Lola López-Muelas

Lawyer
at López Muelas Abogados
+34 968213720
Murcia
Spain

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I have been a practicing lawyer for approximately 30 years.  I studied law at the University of Murcia, subsequently completing a postgraduate degree in International Family Law.  I am specialized in national and international family law and throughout these years I have handled numerous cases related to children such as divorces, adoptions, separation of assets,  Premarital agreements and international child abduction matter in which I am specialized.  I have participated in numerous international conferences both organizing ourselves and giving lectures at them.  I have  written numerous articles on family law and I teach at different universities in Spain both on specific matters of family law and on international child abduction.  I work all over Spain and not only in Murcia, also having offices in Madrid, Malaga and Alicante.

I speak Spanish and English
Subsidized legal aid is not possible

Relevant experiences and positions

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As I have stated previously, I have handled numerous cases of international child abduction both inside and outside of Spain, with the collaboration of numerous colleagues who belong to the same International Organizations to which I belong, or to whom I have met through different international congresses that I have attended, all of them related to the matter of international child abduction.  I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Association of Family Lawyers (AEAFA) which is the largest association in Spain that brings together more than 3,000 lawyers specialized in this matter,  member of the International Academy of family lawyers ( IIAFL), I am also a founder and member of the Spanish Association for Child Abduction (ASIME), I am a founding member and first president of the International Association of Family Law Jurists (AIJUDEFA), as well as the International Union of Lawyers (UIA)..  Expert in collaborative law mediation having founded the first Spanish association of collaborative family lawyers of which I was the first president.  (ACF).

Some personal questions

Why is it interesting for you as a lawyer to work on these cases?

As a family lawyer specialized in International Law, it is very important for me to deal with cases of international child abduction since they are within the specific branch in which I have practiced for years and, on the other hand, they are cases in which the knowledge of both of the International Agreements as Regulations and applicable national legislations is essential being this a matter that I am passionate about studying and being up to date.

What makes a child abduction case different from other cases?

International abduction cases are different from other cases that I deal with in family law because if you don’t act urgently and quickly, it is very likely that one of the parents could lose their child permanently, they are cases in which you connect a lot with the family and with the feelings of the parents who have lost their children, in some cases it is very painful, you cannot help them more, depending on the country where the minors have been abducted.  For this reason, I consider it very important to have contacts with specialized lawyers around the world who know what they have to do at all times and act quickly, knowing both the International Treaties and the specific legislation of their country on the matter.

Which cases are you most concerned with?

I am particularly concerned about cases in which children have been abducted and we do not know where they have been taken by the parent who has abducted them because it is very important to locate them as soon as possible and on many occasions it is very difficult to know exactly where they are because what time plays against the parent who is looking for his son as he becomes rooted in the country where he has been abducted.  On the other hand, I am also very concerned about cases in which minors are abducted and taken to countries where it is very difficult to recover them, countries that haven´t signed the 1980 Hague Convention or countries that have signed it but with which it is very difficult to recover minors.

What would you like to say to judges who handle these cases?

In the first place, they must know exactly what the specific process is, if it exists, and act as quickly as possible to return the minor to the country from which he or she was abducted without going into the merits of the matter, correctly applying both the Regulations in the case of cases that occur within the European Union as well as the International Treaties applicable in these cases.  Also, highlight the great work that mediation can do in this type of case and the direct judicial cooperation that is very effective in them.  Finally, note that it is important that the Judges adopt provisional measures during the validity of the process in order to guarantee at least the children’s visits with the parent who does not have us with him.

What is your advice to parents dealing with international child abduction?

They have to act very quickly, they have to look for a lawyer specialized in this matter and at the same time inform the Central Authority of their country of the abduction of their son and the possible location of the same if they know where he is so that the Central Authority of your country can immediately contact the Central Authority of the country where the child has been abducted, all of this in the case of countries that have signed the 1980 Hague Convention. In the case of countries that do not have signed this agreement, the problem is even greater and you have to find a good specialist lawyer in that country in order to be able to litigate and recover custody of the children as well as request an immediate visitation regime.

Decision making model

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Lola López-Muelas

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