Family Law Blog

Tug-of-love trial to start

Posted by on 19 Apr 2011

The Sunday Telegraph (10 April 2011) reports that a mother who allegedly kidnapped her child back in 2008, prompting a two year world-wide hunt by her husband, is set to face trial in Sydney.

The mother is charged with removing the boy (who is now six) from Australia in direct contravention of a parenting order set down by the Family Court. She is currently being held in the Mullawa Correctional Facility near Windsor following her extradition from the Netherlands, with the matter set to return to Court on April 27.

A surprising number of child abductions occur within Australia each year. In fact, two or three Australian families experience child abduction each week however it is usually only the most high-profile cases that are reported. Most of the abductions involve a parent who was born overseas returning to their country of birth with their child, and most occur shortly after the marriage or relationship between the parents breaks down.

Australia is a signatory to the Hague Convention, which includes a section dealing specifically with international child abduction.

Under the rules of the treaty, parents whose children have been kidnapped to a nation that is also a signatory of the convention can apply to a court or another central authority in that country to have the child returned. They may also apply for government assistance with legal costs in searching for their children if they know which country their child is in – something that can often be difficult to determine.

If you, or someone you know, believe that a child is at risk of abduction, Coleman Greig has a team of experienced family lawyers who can provide advice and assistance. From arranging for the child to be place on a Federal Police “watch list” to prevent them leaving the country, to negotiating a child’s return under the Hague Convention, we can determine the most appropriate solution in each case.