Anton* came to Clancy & Triado for urgent advice and action. His former partner had abducted his seven-year old son and fled the country in an effort to hurt Anton in the most profound way possible. Anton was understandably distraught and concerned for the safety of his child.

Anton’s former partner had taken their son to live in one of the 82 countries that is party to the Hague Convention. The Convention is designed to facilitate international co-operation for the recovery of children amid international custody disputes.

Clancy & Triado successfully obtained an Order, enforced by the local authorities in the country in which Anton’s son was detained, and he was eventually returned. Legal proceedings ensued and Anton successfully negotiated parenting arrangements to ensure his son’s safety and continued, yet controlled, access to his former partner.

This study serves to remind parents involved in a child custody dispute that they should obtain legal advice in circumstances where international travel for their child is proposed. If they have any concern that a child may be taken overseas without their knowledge or consent, they should seek legal advice, as court action can be taken to ensure the child cannot travel without agreement, and appropriate safeguards. Only in this way can a parent guarantee that they do not find themselves at the whim of a foreign country, where the domestic laws and custody considerations may be vastly different from Australia.

*The name of this client was changed to protect his privacy.