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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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When the hague convention is against you

by Carrie / Posted 07/04/2011 / Updated 30/10/2017

I would love to find a web site that lets mostly mothers speak freely about how they left their partners/husbands with their children to escape the abuse and the ex abuses the hague convention. The hague convention then sends back the children and their mopther to the hands of their abuser. If anyone knows of such site please please get incontact with me.
Hope someone can help. Thanks


From Jane / Posted: 08/04/2011
I too would be interested to know if such a site exists as I havenīt come across one. I was sent back to France and have had to endure poverty and continued abuse of my ex using his own court system against me for the last 6 years. I am now in a situation where despite having residency for 6 years I now have only one week on two with my daughter, no job and no family around me. My ex/the courts have nothing against me as a mother and it just seems so wrong that you can be forced back to a country where you have to struggle to survive and put food on the table. Iīm presuming you are being put in a difficult situation too and I feel for you because it is not easy.
From Rosemary Leeder / Posted: 12/04/2011
There must be hundreds of cases like yours. My daughter is in this situation in America and we are desperate to help but cannot afford the massive legal fees. She has now found out she is pregnant and he is probably going to jail this week. Where will that leave her and her 5 year old son, as his family are no help.
From guy / Posted: 14/04/2011
How can I use the hague convention. My wife has vanished with my kids
From Carrie Ward / Posted: 07/05/2011
It would be great if people in my situation all got together and started a petition to change the h/c to protect the innocent and not the abuser.
From fiona / Posted: 12/06/2011
Iīm about to ītestī the Hague Convention in the UK, by returning from Greece. The return of children and subsequently mothers, to countries where they face domestic violence and impoverishment is an abuse of human rights. this should count more than the Hague Convention. The original aims of which, were to protect children and mothers.
From Jan / Posted: 20/07/2011
My daughter was recently returned to New Zealand under this ridiculous convention.
Despite her work visa running out, her abusive ex partner, no income (not entitled) no home, and suffering with severe depression
From Miss Jones / Posted: 08/08/2011
I have been a victim of domestic abuse which is still ongoing after separation. My ex partner has brought emergency proceedings against me both in France 2009 and again in December 2009. On both occasions he has lied to courts and other authorities in both countries saying that I abducted and retained my son in England and France. The reality is that I fled domestic abuse one of which was a sexual assualt on my person December 2009, which of course he refutes to police and courts. He was awarded full custody of our son because he had the best lawyer who actually represented his case and put the work in whereas legal aided lawyers do not get paid for the necessary work so they do very little for you. I would love to know about any other women that have experienced the brutal loss of their child/ren through simply protecting them to an abuser, who continues to abuse and deny the mum her rights to a relationship with her child/ren.
Maybe there is someone clever out there who could put together a website for us women? All replies welcome.
From miss b / Posted: 05/03/2012
I too have suffered abuse from my x partner who i met at 15 and left with my 3 month old son at 17 years old. since then he has used the court and his parental responsibility powers to control both me and my son. I won custody twice in the uk, only for my son at age 12 decide he wanted to go live with his dad in ireland. I allowed it as my son had never been told ( still does not fully know his dads past) how violent and controlling his dad was/is. Upon letting him go to live in ireland i expected my son to come home. for 6 months he didnt want to. Then in September he asked to come home, only to change his mind 5 days later. End of last year his father put in for custody in ireland with me having 2 weeks notice. I refuse to go to ireland becuase of abuse - he won cole custody. My son then came on Christmas break and refused to go back to ireland as he wished to stay with me. His father then applied the hague convention on me!!!! I am now nearly at the final hearing, next week we shall see where the court decides upon my sons future! All this to the hands of a violent controlling bully! The system needs to realise woman are vulnerable in these proceedings!
From Rebecca / Posted: 16/04/2012
There is a single parent website called Single With Kids which is based in the UK that have a parent support forum which is updated in real time. They have a section on ´abduction´ and I think this would be a useful way of finding support from other parents aswell as a general support for us parents coping on our own with our children anyway. This may be the answer instead of creating a separate website for women to get some support network. They also have a private messaging system where you can contact other users without exchanging your personal details but you have to be a member to do this. I´ve found it a very useful site.
From Gary / Posted: 18/04/2012
Well you see unfortunately when parents abduct children they will always use Article 13 as a reason to attempt to refute return. This leads to genuine cases being thrown into the same bag as the false ones. I am on the opposite spectrum, my ex-wife has abducted my children as she was about to lose custody and is making false allegations (a I was warned they do) of abuse. Luckily for me I have the support of the UK social service and schools who have written references stating they allegations are false. The system is the way it is because too many mothers abuse Article 13 to justify their selfish behaviour and so ruin it for the genuine cases.
From miss quinn / Posted: 20/04/2012
please see the recent supreme court decision S v C re: S (a child). It may be of some help tp pepole going through this awful situation
From cheryl thomson / Posted: 23/10/2012
hi to every one i sit here tears falling i feel for you all. my daughter and i have allso gone through hell .my daughter and her two babies were forced back to australia perth in may 2010 gy the hague convention. the lies and devastation the followed was a night mare .we have nt seen the children for 18 months and they are only 3 and 4 now we have very little contact with them and know very little about their lives i fear we will loose all contact with them as this is down to their father allowing us to skype we sit on the computor every day and wait some times were lucky some times not. their is nothing we can do about this unless we take him back to court in australia and we do not have the funds for the very thing he accused my daughter of he has managed to do it legally i think the justic system is currupt and thier is a massive hole in the hague convention . i am fully aware what is going on as we met so many other victims in court with very little help and support and worse of all no legal aid this all seems to be swept under the carpet .i will never give up on the kids and never go away and pray for the day they return to us years of stolen memories that can never be replaced and we carry a life sentance of heart acke every day love to you all cheryl x
From cherylthomson / Posted: 23/10/2012
well gary you may well have a point but what men need to realise theirs a reason why women grow a child in side her and give birth their is already a bond between mother and baby before its born and no mother would just up and leave with the children for the sake of it do you really think they do this just for the fun of it no child should be seperated from a good mother
From Brian / Posted: 03/02/2013
I was accused of ´sex abuse´ after I obtained a return order from the High Court ordering the rrturn of my wife and daughter to UK following an ´abduction´/unlawful detention. The effect of these false allegations has been horrendous. I was advised by my solicitor to give undetakings of ´non contact´ and to vacate the marital home to encourage return. Since they have returned Social Services, the Police etc have been on my wife´s side! There is considerable gender bias against men by social services/family courts where over 80% of staff are female.
From Sue / Posted: 23/08/2013
I am currently on legal aid and my solicitor does very little. My ex is very manupulative and malicious and so is his new partner. He continues his post seperation emotional and financial abuse to me and there is threat of him abducting my two sons. He has applied for full residence although he hasnīt contacted the children since last 5months inspite of court order. Is there any chance that he might succeed?
From Marie / Posted: 05/02/2014
I left my ex in October 2012 after years of abuse. We had travelled between London and L.A since 2008, spending equal time in both places (slightly more in London). We had been in California for almost 12 months when I decided I wanted to separate - I told him I wanted to live in London with the children and we looked for rental properties online from L.A. He tried to secure a property for me before we came back but I told him not to put the deposit down until I looked at the property. Upon our return I viewed the property but didnt like it. He found a house for me and the children to live in and signed the lease and paid the rent. He bought me a brand new car, shipped all of our furniture and belongings back from America and helped me find a school for our daughter. He found an apartment on the Thames for himself, bought a Ferrari and got a job in London. I filed for divorce in May and he tried to convince me to give our marriage another go. When he finally realized I wasnīt going to give him another chance he said "I will make you pay for this". The next day he issued Hague Proceedings against me - we had been in the UK for 10 months already (and bearing in mind we werenīt settled in the US and had spent equal time in both places). It was up to me to prove I did not "kidnap" my children. I had evidence of his job, he paid for our home, his home, cars, school fees, furniture for my house and I had proof he was trying to buy a house for us here. I lost the case! Where is the justice? I have to move to America with my children on Feb 17th... He gave us 3 weeks to say goodbye to our friends and family. He is a multi millionaire with houses around the world and he doesnīt work... He doesnīt have to be in any one place. I have no money and a huge legal bill and Iīm being taken away from all my family and friends. My daughter is being torn away from a school she loves, she can read and write. She is going to go back to preschool. This law has to change. The accused person will always loose. Itīs not right
From Marie / Posted: 14/02/2014
And now my green card has mysteriously dissapeared with no copy to be found. I´m due to leave on Monday but I´m worried I won´t even be let into the country. There´s no help for people like me.... I´ve been on the phone all night but nobody´s got back to me
From Marie / Posted: 14/02/2014
You escape the abuser just to land back in the same situation but even worse than before
From Rebecca / Posted: 24/02/2014
Hi Marie, this sounds awful for you, I canīt believe you have been sent back after what you have described. There is a relatively new and growing facebook page called Expat Stuck Mums that is offering support and sharing information with other women trapped abroad. Have a look on there. Good luck and stay strong.
From Jones / Posted: 04/08/2014
I canīt say to much about my case.
But my little one was taken this year by her mom and stepdad from the Uk and moved to the USA. A prohibited steps order is in place and has been for some time. Now after talking with a us solicitor about how The Hague works and federal court system I got the inpresson from the solicitor I will not win witch has taken what little ray of light I still had away. I just hope the legal system works
From Anita / Posted: 31/08/2014
What help is there if you are likely to be returned to an abusive husband? I have been in the UK with my two for over a year but my husband - who has never shown much interest in the children - is invoking the Hague so that they will be returned to the US. I have an extreme fear of flying due to a DVT (I´m receiving therapy for this and for issues related to the abuse) and my abusive husband is a pilot so flies all the time. The children are happy and settled here, surrounded by family (none for thousands of miles in the US), doing well at school. Their father would fly 5 hours ´home´ to see them anyway, and it´s a 5.5 hour flight to London, so not much difference for him. Final hearings are in a couple of weeks: what, if anything, can I do to ensure we are not sent back???
From Stuart / Posted: 25/09/2016
Hi there. Myself and my wife moved to Spain with our 2 young children in September 2012. In October 2013 my wife gave birth to our third child. We were living as Spanish residents and both the youngest children had been attending Spanish school. Our youngest as attending nursery school. In August this year my wife amounted that she was going back to the uk as she wanted to re find herself as she felt she had lost her identity. I asked If I came back also could we work out any issues that she had together to keep our family together. She point blank said no. I have asked on numerous occasions as to why this decision was made but as yet am still trying to find out the real answer. One answer was that she wanted more money in her pockets throughout the month, another is that she has no friends, and another is that she misses her family. One of the reasons that we moved away was because my wife and I both never really saw our families unless we ourselves made the effort to travel to see them. So a move away was no bother. As it happens, we have seen more of our friends and family since living in Spain than we did when we were living in the uk, as everyone likes the sunshine, beaches and free holidays!
My wife has now returned to the uk and the heartbreak of not seeing my children, as well as missing my wife whom I still love deeply has been ripping me apart. My wife new this when she was packing and yet was totally emotionless towards me. My son did nothing but cry his eyes out and in their day of departure my son and eldest daughter just had a major sobbing session which lasted for half an hour. They said they would miss me and didnīt wish to go but my wife convinced them that it would be an adventure!
My wife has not been forthcoming in allowing me to skype with my children which from a distance whereby you have no power to anything about it, I had finally had enough. It has taken 4 weeks for me to stop crying, get motivated and act together my children returned to Spain. I have made a Hague application for my children to be returned. I am now waiting for the application to be accepted and then whatever process is next to happen.
I am far from being an abusive father, I love my children immensely and would never harm them in any way. I also still very much love my wife who I just want to tell me her reasons behind what she has done. Sure we had the odd ups and downs, but we never argued or shouted at each other at all, in fact we last shouted an one another some 8years ago, but surely this action cannot be a result of that!
My children have so many friends here and they have knocked our door on several occasions to see if my children wanted to go and play. My son is in the top 5of his class in an all Spanish school. They are all fluent Spanish reading and writing for their ages. I just donīt get it!,
I understand that the mother has a parental right and motherly bond, but I also love my children as much as my wife and would protect them with my life!
I have cried a lot whilst writing this, and I truly understand what most of you are going through. My wife has ripped the heart from my chest! I am constantly feeling sick, I cannot eat properly, I cannot work, this feeling is a feeling that you would not wish on your worst enemy. I hope that those of you who are feeling the same and going through this terrible ordeal get your children back, as I hope that the Hague will get mine back also. Take care all of you and really, good luck. I wish I could personally talk with each of you to see if the feelings I have are normal in these cases! It killing me! stu x
From Mick / Posted: 17/11/2016
Hello Stuart, your story is very heart breaking, really sorry to hear about this. I´m going through a similar situation and started the Hague convention. The mother of my one-year-old daughter decided not to come back to Scotland after her holidays in Greece and arguments we had in Greece. It was like she put a knife in my heart. The Scottish Central authority accepted my Hague convention application, passed it to the Greek CA and now about to start court proceedings. More than 2 months away from her, now she started not showing my daughter in Skype. I write a letter every day, like a journal, to my daughter, to help me keep my sanity. It´s something I don´t wish to happen even to my enemy. I can´t be with that woman ever again. We had our arguments, I was telling her to have 2nd child, but after this , I can´t ever trust her again. I love my daughter to pieces and I´m in pain . Thankfully, I managed to continue work so far, good friends´ network, building a life as a single person again, while waiting for the HC process to progress. It will take months, and I keep my fingers crossed. My thoughts with you Stuart, two children , awful what she did to you. My best wishes, Mick
From BA / Posted: 05/12/2016
All the best to everyone. May you be rewarded for your struggles. Please do let us know that how did you get on with your case and what was the outcome? Thanks and best of luck.

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