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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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Ex planning to take children to Oz without my permission

by NL / Posted 02/08/2010 / Updated 05/08/2010

Hi - am hoping someone might have experience of dealing with Australian visas, etc.
My husband & I split up 3 years ago when I was pregnant with our second child. He went to Oz at that time & is still there. Our sons are now 5 & 2 & have lived with me since we split. He sees them once a year when he returns to the UK. Boys are just back from a spending 2 weeks with them & my eldest son told me that he took them to a doctor to get x-rays & an examination to see if they´re healthy enough to go to Oz. He´s obviously either made a visa application or planning to make an application & then remove them from the UK without my permission. I phoned the Australian Commission in London who told me that they cannot provide me with any information on whether there are visa applications in my sons´ names because of Data Protection regulations. I find this ridiculous as I´m their guardian & they reside with me so I assumed that any information relating to them could be released to me. The advice they offered was that if he was to snatch them I could get them returned under the Hague Convention but obviously the last thing I want is for the children to have to go through the trauma of that sort of situation. My solicitor advises that they would definitely be returned to me - they reside with me, he doesn´t pay maintenance, etc - but I just think it´s crazy that even though I have reasonable grounds to suspect he´s planning to take them (my son wouldn´t make all that up) I can´t do anything to stop any potential visa applications. How can it be acceptable to expect a 5 & 2 year old to go through that instead of trying to stop it?
Does anyone know whether it is correct that the Australian Commission can refuse to tell me whether or not there are visa applications in my sons´ names? And does the visa application require the signature of both parents? I´m concerned that my husband may forge my signature.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Thanks.

Responses

From Nick / Posted: 05/08/2010
NL,
The first question is exactly how good is your solicitor in child abduction matters. from what you have said in your email raises some concerns. No one can ever be certain of success but yes things do sound favourable towards yourself. Second, a good solicitor would by now based on the details you have provided to them taken out a number of orders including passport orders, residence orders etc and ayt the same time a court could make contact with the Australian High Commission advising them of the situation. The Australian authorities are correct in as much as they are not able to disclose to you what is confidential and sensitive information but you can deal with this as outlined above. However, they would be able to advise you if an application for a childs visa required the signature of both parents. Even if it did you would still have to prove that such an application has been made but it is something that should be ´flagged´ up with local police who may make some intial enquiries themselves. My best advise is to consider consulting an experinced solicitor.
From Rebecca / Posted: 05/08/2010
Although your ex is applying for all this, none of it can go ahead without your permission and he will need to access the boys passports etc. I have been through this process in Australia myself and through the HC with Australia. As your husband now lives there, and I would assume with permanent residency, your sons would be eligible for Australian visas, but both parents have to consent to this. Contact DIAC (Department of Immigration and Citizenship)in Australia at www.immi.gov.au and notify them of your husbands details, address, your sons details etc and tell them that you object to any application for permanent residency etc and ask for this to be noted on their files. Best wishes, Rebecca

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