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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 keeps taking my daughter out of school for months to go on holiday to australia to see her boyfri

by alan roberts / Posted 08/12/2010 / Updated 21/12/2010

what can i do about it, i am on the bith certificate, she has not had written consent off me to take her and has removedme off the school records she left for autralia yesterday and i have only just found out, went to the school and have to take birthcertificate and photo id to schoolnow to be put back on and to get accessto information. the school has told me she applied for holiday but not stated for how long she will be going. im concerend my 5year old who has not long started school and already had loads of time of will be affected by this, in later life as she will be very behind and also that she may not return to the uk.
what should i do
thanks alan


From Rebecca / Posted: 14/12/2010
Hi Alan, I´m not sure at this time if this is irresponsible parenting or parental abduction. As far as the schooling goes, if your daughter misses too much school then the Educational Social Worker will become involved and your ex could get into trouble, especially if there are long and frequent periods of unauthorised absence. Unless you can immediately prove parental child abduction, courts don´t usually take any action until one parent has taken a child abroad for more than 28 days. Can you contact your ex´s parents to find out anything? Do you know if her house has been rented out or is empty? Do you know what part of Australia your ex has gone to? Depending on what you can satisfy yourself with you may have to just wait until your ex brings your daughter back again and then consult a solicitor with the intention of getting a Prohibited Steps Order to prevent your daughter from being taken abroad again without your consent. I do share your concerns about your daughters education lagging behind if she is frequently missing school. You could also contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia ( and let them know that you do not consent for a permanent visa to be issued to your daughter, just in case one has been applied for. If your daughter does not return to the UK then you will have to go through the Hague Convention route, which is a very unpleasant and lengthy experience, but you have the advantage of a civilised and English speaking country on your side and they will uphold the HC. Make sure you find a solicitor that has experience of the HC in Australia as they are quite hard to come by and as it is such a specialised area of law you need to have someone who knows what they are doing. I had a good one in Adelaide I can recommend if you need one there!
From zavaa / Posted: 21/12/2010
Does being on the birth certificate automatically give you custodial rights in the UK? (It doesn´t in the US.) But without pre-existing custodial rights, the Hague Convention will be useless to you. You would need to have been exercising those rights before the child left.

At 5 years old, I take it she´s missing preschool/kindergarten? You would need to check if the law in your area requires that a child attend class at that age. It may not at that age, and if so the mother could probably easily say that she´s teaching/homeschooling the child while on her trips. Kindergarten work would not be a challenge for a parent to teach their child. There´s no reason to think the child would be behind, and time off for a 5 year old is not detrimental. If her mother is teaching her, she´s probably getting more one-on-one teaching than she would in a class of dozens of kids.

At 5, your child´s biggest influence and most important figure is the primary caregiver. Since you weren´t aware that she wasn´t in the country, it seems that would be her mother. Spending time with her mother on a trip is probably something the child is enjoying as a vacation, even if she misses her school friends and you.

You need to know if the mother is intending to stay in Australia, and what legal rights you had before she left.

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