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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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I just want to come home

by Colin / Posted 16/06/2010 / Updated 27/06/2010

Ok I have been awarded full temporary custody of my son with a final hearing on custody at divorce. We are currently living in the USA but my son is dual national USA-UK and I am a British national. Everywhere I am reading states that really I can´t come "home" with him however I am wanting to flee an abusive relationship! Does anyone know of any provisions in these laws that would protect me and my son from fleeing violence and abuse? Surely to god my son and I cannot be expected to have to stay under these conditions?? Any help no matter how small is appreciated!
Thank you


From Rebecca / Posted: 24/06/2010
Hi, sadly there is no allowance under the HC to bring your child back to your/their home country because of DV. I know - I tried it and got sent back to Australia by the High Court. This is all about the country the children live in, not the hellish relationships they are living in with their parents, or the pain and abuse the parent has to put up with. If you get full custody of your child then you could apply for a Relocation Order to allow you and your child to return to live in the UK, but this will include provisions for the child to return regularly to the USA for contact with the parent there. My recommendations to you would be to contact a local Domestic Violence refuge in your area and ask for help and support. If you are still living with your abusive partner they may be able to offer you refuge accommodation so at least you and your child are away from the abuse/violence. This is what I had to do in Australia and the DV service housed myself and my son for most of the 2 years it took me to go through the courts to get a Relocation Order which allowed us to return to the UK. However, if you are a male (I say this because of your user name although it could be a pseudonym) then I do not know of any refuges that accommodate men, but there must be some support services out there for men suffering domestic abuse and violence - because quite rightly, you cannot be expected to stay under those conditions. If your son was born in the USA and has always lived there and only has dual nationality due to your British Citizenship, then it will be extremely hard for you to get a Relocation Order, but not impossible. I was fortunate in the end to get my Reloctaion Order, but this boiled down to the fact that I could not legally remain in Australia, but my ex could return to live in the UK if he so wished. I know of several ladies who have had to remain in the country they moved to because their child was ordered to remain there and these ladies were not prepared to come home to the UK and leave their child behind. It has been extremely difficult and traumatic for one lady, but after 7 years she has finally accepted that she has to live in Australia and make a life for herself there, despite always wanting to come back to her home country (UK) and be with her family. Start off with contacting a DV service and take their support and advice, from my own experience it really helps. Good luck.
From Tracey Bryan / Posted: 27/06/2010
Hi there Colin,

Obviously, I would suggest that you do not remove your son from the USA. Then you´re likely to have an abduction case on your hands.

You have custody of your son, I am assuming that you´re divorced/separated from his mother??? If you have custody and their is contact with his mother then you must be seen to adhering to that contact.

I am confused about the abusive reationship... Is this relationship with a person who is not your son´s mother?

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