Contact with your child who lives in another country

July 7, 2012

Source: Bregmans

What are your rights if you live on one continent and your ex wife (or girlfriend) and your child live on another? In certain circumstanceswhat follows applies equally to fathers of children born out of wedlock.

As is spelt out in the Children’s Act 0f 2005 (the Act) ‘…in all matters concerning the care, protection and well-being of a child the standard that the child’s best interest is of paramount importance, must be applied…’

The father of a child whose son lives in another country enjoys what are called ‘full parental responsibilities and rights’ in respect of the child. These include the right to be involved in his day to day upbringing, his care and to maintain contact with him.

The Act contemplates the situation where the parents of a child live on different continents. It prescribes what factors must be taken into account in these circumstances so that the best interests of the child standard is applied. These include:

o        The capacity of the parents to provide for the needs of the child, including emotional and intellectual needs;

o        The likely effect on the child of any change in the child’s circumstances, including the likely effect on the child of any separation from a parent;

o        The practical difficulty and expense of a child having contact with a parent and whether that difficulty or expense will substantially affect the child’s right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with the parent on a regular basis;

o        The child’s physical and emotional security and his intellectual, emotional, social and cultural development;

o        The need for a child to be brought up within a stable family environment;

o        Guiding, directing and securing the child’s education and upbringing, including religious and cultural education and upbringing, in a manner appropriate to the child’s age, maturity and stage of development;

o        Guiding, advising and assisting the child in decisions to be taken by the child in a manner appropriate to the child’s age, maturity and stage of development;

o        Maintaining a sound relationship with the child.

The reality may be that you live and work in (say) Australia and your ex lives and works in South Africa. On that basis you are likely to see your son only three weeks per year. The result is that you miss out on his development (that new tooth, haircut and soccer kit). Applying the best interests test it is essential that you speak to your son over the phone regularly and that your ex keeps you up to date with all significant events in your son’s life. There is, of course, no substitute for real visits but these chats and updates could sustain father and child in between their face-to-face visits.

On that basis (and in an ideal world), you should try to get your ex to co-operate in the following respects:

o        As you live in Oz it is in the best interests of your son to supplement periodic in-person visits with you through contact with your son via telephone, fax and web-based communication by means of camera-computer technology and regular emails;

o        You should have liberal telephone privileges and Internet access to your son during reasonable hours. Depending on his age your ex should assist your son when you and the child participate in video conferencing, telephone calls or the exchange of emails;

o        Until he can read and write, your ex should undertake to send regular emails to you on behalf of your son and to print all emails and faxes sent by you to the child. You ex should shall keep these in an appropriately marked folder and read them to your son whenever received and when asked to do so thereafter;

o        Your ex should encourage communication between father and son on your son and your respective birthdays, on Fathers’ Day and Christmas day (unless any of these days coincide with your contact time with the child);

o        You should have all reasonable contact with your son provided that such contact shall be exercised in his best interests and shall create the minimum degree of disturbance to his routine, educational and necessary extramural activities. The dates and times of personal visits shall be agreed upon by the parties to suit both parent’s work schedules;

o        The parties must agree to any changes in schooling, extracurricular activities, or religious instruction and to any non-emergency medical care;

o        Your ex should keep you informed of the identity of the child’s teachers, day care providers, medical providers, psychiatrists, psychologists or mental health counsellors;

o        Your ex should inform you of any of your son’s school, church or extracurricular activities to which parents are invited. If you cannot attend your ex should take digital photographs of the event and email them to you. This shall apply to your son’s birthday parties as well;

o        Your ex should inform you in advance of any extraordinary medical and other treatment necessary for your son and keep you fully up to date with all developments concerning the child’s well being;

o        Your ex should  inform you of any changes in her physical address or of any changes in your son’s living environment (such as your ex’s getting re-married or setting up home with a partner);

o        Failing agreement between them the parties accept that court proceedings are detrimental to the best interests of the child, are destructive of the relationship between the parties and the child and litigation and threats of litigation should, where possible, be avoided.  Accordingly the parties shall use their best endeavours and shall seek to resolve any differences and/or disputes between them in relation to the child, in a friendly and civil manner and if necessary, the parties shall have meetings with a view to resolving such disputes. If the parties cannot agree upon an area of dispute (such as a modification of the child’s schooling, extracurricular activities, or religious instruction or to any non-emergency medical care) they agree to mediate the dispute and to share the mediator’s fee equally;

o        Obviously, the arrangement between the parents may change from time to time. To ensure that the best interests of the child is the paramount concern in all matters affecting the child, the parties will remain entirely flexible regarding parental responsibilities and rights and care of the child and contact with him.

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Cabbie Eugene Pothy reunited with son stuck in international custody fight

Source: NY Daily News

Boy, 10, was living in Ivory Coast with relatives since 2003.

WHEN THE SON he had not seen for eight years stepped into the arrivals hall at Kennedy Airport, cabbie Eugene Pothy sobbed and gripped the railing.

He had waited so long for this moment — the end of a wrenching international custody battle — and when he finally hugged the boy, it seemed he might never let go.

As that first embrace ended, 10-year-old Philippe-Emmanuel looked up at a father he knew only from photographs, smiled shyly, and asked in French, “Why are you crying?“

“Just for you,“ Pothy said.

Pothy hadn’t seen Philippe-Emmanuel since the boy’s mother sent him to the Ivory Coast to visit her relatives in 2003. He never returned.

On Tuesday, the cabbie kept shaking his head in disbelief that the ordeal had a happy ending.

“Eight years. Eight years,” he said.

“This is all I have been hoping for for eight years. The day has come.”

Philippe-Emmanuel seemed taken aback by the outpouring.

With his dad translating for him, he said he felt “happy.”

“I recognize my dad from photos. From Facebook, I knew him,” he said.

Pothy, 46, who lives in East Orange, N.J., and works in the city, first told his story of losing his son to the Daily News last November.

After the boy did not return from Africa, Pothy failed for years to convince the child’s mother and her family that he should be raised in America.

Last spring, he contacted the State Department, which opened a case but told him it would be difficult for them to take action, because the Ivory Coast isn’t part of the Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction.

The agency also cautioned him against flying there to get the boy himself, if he could get a U.S. judge to sign a order, because foreign courts often do not recognize American custody rules.

The case took a promising turn when Pothy met with self-styled anti-abduction activist Peter Thomas Senese before a December hearing on the case in New Jersey Superior Court.

Pothy said Senese brokered an agreement with the boy’s mother, Judith Any-Grah, that stipulated his return.

Read: I Care Foundation helps create a miracle

The judge approved it and Any-Grah’s family overseas complied.

The boy will now live with Pothy, who already has residential custody of his 6-year-old sister, but his mom will have joint custody.

Any-Grah was also at the airport Tuesday, waiting to see the boy she had not seen in eight years, either.

She told The News that when she sent Philippe-Emmanuel to live with her sister in 2003, she was overwhelmed as a mom and college student.

“I asked her to raise him for me,” she said.

She claimed Pothy agreed it was best at the time. He says he expected his son to be gone only six months.

“Now, I can do my job,” he said. “I can be his dad.”

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

Contact us here: Mail

Join the Facebook Group: International Parental Child Abduction

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

Israel: Al Qaeda Eyeing Balkans for Bases

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Says Balkans “Next Destination” for Jihad Network

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups are trying to set up bases in the Balkans.

Lieberman said he shared his assessment and intelligence information with Macedonia’s prime minister during a meeting in Jerusalem Tuesday.

In a statement, Lieberman said that current information shows the Balkan region is “the next destination” for the global jihad network to set up operations.

He cited a money trail from Muslim charities to the Balkans as evidence without elaborating.

Lieberman said the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group has infiltrated South America, and that al Qaeda is well established in Africa.

He urged the Macedonian leader not to allow militants to take root in the Balkans.

Published by: ABP World Group Ltd.

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