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This forum offers parents the opportunity to voice their own experiences of international parental child abduction, and related issues, and to share useful information with others in a similar situation.

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by Michael Roberts / Posted 01/06/2009 / Updated 05/06/2009

My 4 young boys were all abducted by my then wife, their mother to an EU country. I got my children returned to the UK by going through the European Court to secure their return on International Child Abduction law. My wife had expected this and had carried out the abduction under advice from a solicitor! As extrodinary as it might seem, the CPS drop charges when the mother returns and the mother has formed the ´Status Quo´ of being the sole carer of the children over the period of the abduction and shown that they are settled by providing schooling and home for them there. My wife had applied for divorce and upon return applied for ´Permission for Leave to Remove from the Jurisdiction´ from the English courts. Two seperate barristers and two seperate solicitors all advised me, that the case law in 5 parts is all about the emotional well being of the mother and that as a father I had almost no chance whatsoever of retaining my children in the UK. CAFCASS actually made recommendation to the court that I should have sole custody of the children here in the UK after finding out about a number of abuses of the children. Beware, the case law is so strongly in the mothers favour, that a father has little or no chance, even though the case law is in contradiction to European Human Rights Act on gender discrimination, I believe the English court chooses to interpret it as being in the childrens favour that the mother be least effected emotionaly. In my case my ex wife was rewarded with some 80% of the assets, being roughly 50/50 and some 30% extra for 3 or more children being a rule of thumb. I drive some 1000 miles each month for allowed 24 hours of access and it costs me some £400 per month with fuel/wear and tear/hotel costs and ferry costs (this is not taken into account by the court). The CSA does not get involved in payments outside of the UK, so the courts decision on finances takes this into account and is a full and final decision. The court often seeks to have the order mirrored in Europe as a Brussels II order, easily obtained by a UK judge, this makes it legally binding in all of Europe.

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