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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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Non return to UK from Belgium

by Sue / Posted 04/06/2009 / Updated 22/08/2012

Hi
Does anyone have any help and advice to give me please ? My 2 sons aged 10 and 12 were retained by their Father in Belgium after they visited him for the half term holidays.I have filed for them to be returned under the Hague Convention in the Uk and directly in Belgium. Does anyone know how long it will take please ? I have a Paris court ruling giving me permission to move to the UK where we have been for 18 months. Since then the father has moved from France to belgium. I hope there is someone who can give me hope.

Responses

From Shahana / Posted: 09/07/2010
Dear Sue,

My children were abducted twice to Belgium during their lifetime. The second time, when through Reunite I became aware of the Hague Convention, it helped me greatly to have my children returned to the UK. Is their father Belgian? that makes a great difference. Please write some more details. In the meanwhile, I wish you all the best.
From Rebecca / Posted: 10/07/2010
Hi Sue, as your children have been ´unlawfully retained´ the HC will work in your favour and a return order will be granted to you eventually. The length of time will depend on whether their father co-operates or stalls for time, whether you know where he is in Belgium, or if the authorities have to find him first. If it all goes smoothly, it should take around 8 weeks, otherwise it could be a few months. The fact that he has retained them and not returned them following a visit can be evidence used by you to refuse further visits in the future and that future contact must be him visiting them in the UK. He´s really cut his nose off to spite his face by doing this and has made a rod for his own back. Keep us posted how you get on.
From Olivia / Posted: 29/07/2010
At 10 & 12 years old the wishes of the children could come into play if they don´t want to return.
From Shahana / Posted: 05/01/2011
Dear Sue, I am wondering what has been happening to you. Please update us on your situation now? Stay strong girl. We are thinking of you.
From Nicki / Posted: 14/01/2011
Don´t like saying this but don´t hold out too much hope of hague convention getting anything done fast. I´m in to 6 month now on what should be a straight forward return..their location is known. The country (malta) isnt co-operating with the convention and they are trying to say the juristiction is over in malta. Its all a load of rubbish. I´m hoping at some point it will be sorted.. Meanwhile my daughter is abroad with a neglectful father who is also wanted on other charges in UK. Ive had zero contact with her.
From Shahana / Posted: 13/06/2011
Dear Sue,

If it is known where your children are in Belgium, it could go quickly. I say this from experience. My children were taken in the christmas holidays 2003. I did know where they were located. Invoked the HC with help from Reunite and the DCA. I went through all ACCELLERATED court proceedings in accordance with belgian law and won my case finally in court of appeal on 15th March 2004. They returned with me to the UK on 20th March 2044. A day we always celebrate more than any other. I admit I had to go there, run from court to court to instigate proceedings (slowly up the ladder within the Belgian legal system and within a time frame.) Remain strong and I am here to help if you want.
From Shahana / Posted: 24/01/2012
Dear Sue, please let us know what has been happening to you and your precious sons? We hope everything is progressing; or even better, that you have your sons back with you. all the best
From dharmesh / Posted: 26/01/2012
Sue, I hope you get what you want. I didnt find out about the HC until too late. I am in the UK, my son is in Italy. (holiday turned into permanent residency)

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