What is parental child abduction
Parental child abduction refers to when one parent takes or retains a child, or children, from the other parent, usually following the breakdown of a relationship.
Parental child abduction takes two forms: wrongful removal is when a parent takes a child abroad without the consent of the other parent; and wrongful retention is when one parent, with the other parent’s consent, takes a child overseas for a vacation but then doesn’t return the child at the agreed time, or even keeps them overseas indefinitely.
International child abduction
International child abduction is a very specialised area of family law litigation and getting a good outcome for your children depends on knowing what the judge who hears your case will be basing their decision on. Being represented by someone who understands the law in this area will help you direct your case in a way which is most effective for achieving a good outcome for your children.
In the 2017/18 financial year 127 applications were made seeking the return of children to and from Australia under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of international Child Abduction (the Hague Convention).
If you have brought your children to Australia and have received court documents seeking the return of your children to an overseas country or you think that you will receive such documents in the future, Hague Convention Legal Practice may be able to assist you.
The Hague Convention
The 1980 Hague Convention is an international convention (treaty) involving over 95 countries. Its purpose is to secure the speedy return of abducted children. The courts of the country to which the child has been abducted should not make welfare decisions pending the outcome of the application and the application should be determined ideally within 6 weeks. The 1980 Hague Convention applies to children who are younger than 16 years old.
It is important that your response documents are prepared and presented in a professional manner. The judge hearing the matter will not be focusing on who is the better parent but will be looking instead at whether the child has been wrongfully removed to or retained in Australia.
Advice about child abduction matters can clarify a lot about what you will be facing in court if an application seeking the return of your children in made under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
Understanding what is likely to happen and being aware of the options open to you will help you make the right decisions for your children and for yourself. By speaking to someone who has worked with child abduction matters for many years you will ensure that you get the best advice available.
Hague Convention Legal Practice offers a specialised fixed fee service providing assistance with the preparation of responding documents to Hague Convention applications seeking the return of children from Australia.
Sponsored article from Hague Convention Legal Practice
Read more from Rosa Saladino of Hague Convention Legal Practice about Protecting Children From Unintended Effects of Return Orders Under the Hague Convention
Read more about The Limits of the Hague Convention in Child Abduction Cases
Read more about The Hague Convention On The Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction from UNICEF
View the Hague Convention Legal Practice listing here on The Expat Directory