Source: The Australian
Call for criminal charges against parents who abduct children
AUSTRALIA’S international child abduction laws are set to be strengthened after the Family Law Council advised the Attorney-General that parents who take children overseas with consent from their ex-partner but break the deal and keep the children should face criminal charges.
As it stands, the legislation does not cover the situation where a parent takes a child overseas with the other parent’s consent — or in accordance with a court order — but then “retains” the child overseas beyond the agreed or authorised period.
In these situations, the council argues, the “wrongful retention of children should be a criminal offence”.
The council also recommends the act be amended to extend the criminal charges to parents who remove a child without consent or authority when family dispute resolution has been initiated or an invitation to participate has been received.
But the council has stopped short of recommending that all parents who take their children overseas without consent should face charges.