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One parent stay in Africa with a child

by Jaime / Posted 26/08/2010 / Updated 05/06/2011

A friend of mine living in France with her African husband (who has become French) and their 2yo and 4yo children are facing difficulties in their relationship due to their different projects, cultures, aspirations and characters (they still live together). Following a recent trip to Africa, he is focusing more and more on his homeland as a place to live or at least visit quite regularly, make business, etc. She has not the same focus AT ALL. Recently he told her that he would like to re-visit his homeland as soon as possible and he said either he would go alone for a 1month period or he would go for longer with one of the children for "a couple of months". For him "a couple of months" is not a big deal, for my friend spending that time alone with one of the children and without the other is a nightmare. French law allows (apparently, since they did it already in the past) for one parent to leave the territory with a child without the written consent of the other parent. I am worried about my friend that if the situation between her and his husband got worse, he would go to Africa with one of the children (as a sort of hostage, for fear she might otherwise take the two children and leave him; if he goes with one of the children, he knows she would wait for them and unwillingly accept the "couple of months"). The country in question hasnīt signed the Hague Convention. I wouldnīt worry if France said that the minor needs both parents permission to leave the country (she could refuse, end of the story) but that is NOT the case. Grateful for your advice, it would break my heart if any of the stories I read on the web happened to my friend and her children.

Responses

From Norma / Posted: 05/06/2011
I hope your friendīs children are safe in France. Lots of countries allow a parent to take the children abroad without the written permission of the other parent. In UK, the answer is to see a lawyer and apply to the court for a prohibited steps order - then neither parent can take the child without the courtīs permission.

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