Court rejects father’s Hague Convention appeal

Domestic abuseThe Court of Appeal has dismissed a father’s application for the return of his children.

In Abduction: Re A, the family had been living in Norway when the father assaulted the mother, a single incident of domestic violence witnesses by the children. The parents split up and after giving birth to a third child, the mother took all three of her children to England with her.

The father applied for the children’s return under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, but the children made it plain that they did not wish to return to Norway. The original judge rejected the father’s application.

In the Court of Appeal, Lord Justices Thorpe and Kitchin, along with Sir David Keene, ruled against the father. The original judge had made a thorough review of the law, including that relating to objections posed by children and he also taken into account  the views of the Cafcass officer attached to the case.

It was an exceptional case, the Court of Appeal declared, in which a single incident had damaged both the relationship between the father and the mother and that between the father and his children.

The oldest child saw himself as his mother’s protector and had a sense that they would be at risk if they returned to Norway.

 

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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14 comments

Mercy - August 8, 2013 at 6:57am

A Norwegian man married a Chinese woman in 8 years and wants to divorce. So they force and push his daughter and his wife back to China. Then apply for separation paper in Norway and the NAV refused to give maintainance fee to his daughter from father. There is only reason is china is never signed Lugano convention! Is it fair to this child’s right?

Chris - August 8, 2013 at 10:23am

Once again the woman pulls the old oh he beat/abused me card to win a case. Everyone knows that no one ever lies in divorce cases, oh no. Never mind trying persuade a child to go against the parent oh this NEVER happens. What a joke. If you’re a man in family court you are already partly guilty based on your sex. It’s sad to see that reverse sexism is still alive and when in family court. This judge was a soft touch and doesn’t realized just how bad he was played.

Luke - August 8, 2013 at 4:58pm

Normally I would think that the children should go back to Norway, but here the children are of an age to express an opinion – well, the older boy thinking he is the mother’s protector suggests that at least he is – and so I think the situation is different.

If they/he are confirming an assault actually took place and that they want to stay in England then in my view their request should take precedence.

Mercy, apologies for not commenting on the case you have mentioned but I am not sure that I fully comprehend it from what you have written.

Luke - August 9, 2013 at 5:41pm

Chris, you might be right, we don’t know, for me it all depends on the age of the children – when they are not small I think their view is critical.

I understand that the mother can sway their view and the system is not ultimately fair but I am not sure that is possible.

In my view the Family Court can probably never be totally fair to men because of the realities of children – the problem I have is at the moment Family Court is just so ridiculously and unnecessarily unfair against men it is madness.

Tami Joy - August 10, 2013 at 12:11am

Happy that the children’s voices were heard! I know that sometimes mother’s will lie and use the kids… but…. I know too well when the abuse is real… sometimes the children want a say so and the judge will turn a deaf ear….. and most mothers will return to the abuse rather the leave the kids behind… and some get robbed of their children after they have fled….

John R Brodie JP - August 11, 2013 at 12:47am

Emotional abuse injury is a debilitating health problem, caused by being locked into an abuse environment. Family courts fail to understand EAI, when they give abusers custody of children. My book on Amazon Kindle, “Beat the Beating” details the horrible nature of EAI. Protect our kids – first.

Jay - August 11, 2013 at 7:55am

Chris people like you really have no clue. Even when the abuse has been repeatedly witnessed by independent third parties and even when the man has stood up in criminal court and admitted to the abuse and been convicted for it (including violent abuse against the children), family courts don’t even accept it into evidence. “soft touch” and “played”? I don’t think so. The boy was old enough to give evidence and he said the abuse happened. Check your facts.

Quenby Wilcox - August 11, 2013 at 9:44pm

Dear Chris,

You are terribly mis-informed about the realities of family courts. The bias is in favor of men, NOT WOMEN. I do not know where you are getting your facts or information, but your dialogue is typical of the extremist rhetoric coming from father’s rights groups who are aiding and abetting abusive fathers in their abuse of women and children.

Studies & reports abound demonstrating the elevated & long-standing discrimination against women & problems within family courts. Please see Family Courts in Crisis Newsletters (http://worldpulse.com/node/71182).

The reality is that 70% of women involved in international child abduction are fleeing domestic abuse, and judicial system’s failure to protect them.

False allegations of domestic violence occur at a rate of 2%, with the majority of abused women & children never filing a complaint for fear of reprisal from the abuser, family &/or community. It takes great courage and strength for victims to denounce their abusers.

Please get your facts straight before making unfounded & false declarations.

Regards,
Quenby Wilcox
Founder – Global Expats
Founder – Safe Child International

Luke - August 13, 2013 at 12:11am

Quenby Wilcox, your position is ridiculous – 50% of domestic violence in the western world is perpetrated by women – and your link is to a women’s movement on family court AROUND THE WORLD – not in family court in the western world which is totally different and completely feminised.

Please get your facts straight before making unfounded & false declarations against Chris.

Regards.

Anonymous - August 14, 2013 at 12:15pm

Luke, it’s probably no use arguing with someone like this. They long ago turned their back on common sense. It is also telling how they sign off as founder of ‘Safe Child International’. People like this are increasingly engaged in abusing the issue of child protection to vilify the entire male sex. They just need therapy, and to be helped and shown that what they are doing is entirely unproductive.

Quenby Wilcox - November 17, 2013 at 5:28am

Dear Luke,
Would you please provide links to reports and statistical data which substantiate your claim of 50% domestic violence perpetrated by women. This claim is totally unfounded and nothing more than an invention of yours. As to western courts being different from “other” courts (noting that you fail to clarify which courts) only exposes your ignorance and mis-information of the issues and facts at hand.

Dear Anonymous,
Your rhetoric and claims are typical of those attempting to cover-up for discrimination against women and gender-bias against women in family courts, as well as their systematic cover-up of domestic abuse. And, your contention that I need “therapy” and that my contentions “lack common sense” and are nothing more than attempts to “vilify the entire male sex” are perfect examples of the abuse personality who attempts to deviate the discussion away from the facts by personally attacking one’s opponent rather than addressing the issues. I can assure the “unproductive” contribution to this discussion is yours.

Quenby Wilcox
Founder – Global Expat
Founder – Safe Child International
http://worldpulse.com/user/2759/journal

u6c00 - November 17, 2013 at 12:17pm

Sex differences in aggression between heterosexual partners: A meta-analytic review.
Archer, John
Psychological Bulletin, Vol 126(5), Sep 2000, 651-680. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.126.5.651

The article itself is paywalled, although available from some sites which I will not link to because they may be infringing copyright.

From the abstract:
“Meta-analyses of sex differences in physical aggression to heterosexual partners and in its physical consequences are reported. Women were slightly more likely (d = –.05) than men to use one or more acts of physical aggression and to use such acts more frequently.”

I’m not denying that domestic violence against women exists and is a serious problem (in fact the article I’ve cited above also says that although women are more likely to perpetrate domestic violence, they are also more likely to be injured by it when they are the victim).

You do appear to be denying that female perpetrated domestic violence exists, or is a serious problem. I’m afraid that position is why you will receive a frosty reception from a great many men who have been victims of such violence.

Declaring my bias: I am a man had one of my teeth broken and my face slashed with broken glass by my abusive female partner.

Luke - November 17, 2013 at 8:36pm

Quenby Wilcox,
I find it amusing that in one sentence you ask for evidence – and then immediately in the next sentence insist that I am making it up !

Well, I am going to provide evidence anyway – btw, it is actually well known by objective researchers (i.e. outside feminazi circles) that both genders are not innocent when it comes to domestic violence:

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

There are countries where women are treated appallingly, but certainly not in the UK or USA or most of Europe – the fact that you cannot acknowledge this shows the depths of your misandry.

The funniest bit though was addressed to ‘Anonymous’:

—–
“Your rhetoric and claims are typical of those attempting to cover-up for discrimination against women and gender-bias against women in family courts…”
—–

Yes of course – Family Court gives women such an appalling deal – they never get custody and they never get assets that they didn’t bring into the marriage and spousal support is forced on them – they can’t stand it. :-)

Anonymous - November 18, 2013 at 12:18am

Thanks Luke, I didn’t really think it merited a reply. I just really sometimes wonder what planet people are living on. But I suppose we shouldn’t rule out that there is the odd country whose laws are just as barbaric for disrespecting mothers in the same proportion that our country disrespects fathers.

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