Leaving on a jet plane….don’t know if they’ll be back again…..

Leaving on a jet plane….don’t know if they’ll be back again…..

Leaving on a jet plane….don’t know if they’ll be back again…..

The notion of a stranger dragging your child from you off the street is a scary thought for any parent; but what if the person taking your child is their mother or father? Many separated parents wouldn’t ever consider the idea that their former spouse would take their child and leave the country; sadly this isn’t the case for all and many parents live in fear of this exact thing happening every day. I cannot count the number of times I have had to rush down to Court on a Friday afternoon to get an Injunction preventing a parent from removing a child from the country……it’s a lot.

Sadly, when parents separate, relations between them can be fraught with difficulties and in some cases the child can become the pawn in what seems like a chess game! So what do you do if you have a real and genuine concern that the other parent may try and remove your child from the country? Well don’t sit and think about it for too long…speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.

If there is a genuine risk of removal a lawyer can take you to Court and obtain an Injunction prohibiting this removal. Sadly, in some cases a child has already been wrongfully retained or removed; perhaps they have gone on a ‘holiday’ with a parent and not been returned. If this happens to you, seek legal advice immediately. Do not delay! The longer your child is away, the harder it is to get them back. Australia is one of 81 countries who are signatory to the Hague Convention. This is a treaty which provides a lawful procedure for the return of children to their home country. For a list of member countries visit www.ag.gov.au.

Some helpful hints; if you agree to your child going on holiday with their other parent, get the details of where they are staying, a copy of their return flight and a copy of their passports. If you are concerned, or just want some advice as to what safeguards you can put in place then please do not hesitate to contact us! As my mother always told me, ‘it’s better to be safe than sorry!’

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019