Norwegian/Maltese Child Abduction -Maltese father wins child ‘abduction’ case


Friday, 4th February 2011

Toddler to stay with dad after mum claims abduction

The young son of a couple who met on the internet will remain in Malta with his Maltese father after a court dismissed his Norwegian mother’s claim he had been abducted.

Madam Justice Anna Felice ruled the island was the child’s habitual residence after the couple had travelled to Malta intending to establish their residence here.

The child’s parents met over the internet in 2008 and the mother travelled to Malta and remained here until January the following year. On her return to Norway she discovered she was pregnant and the father moved to Norway to be with her.

Following the birth of the child in September 2009, the father found out the mother had another child from a previous marriage. This child had been removed from her care and placed in a foster home, the court heard.

The second child was born suffering from withdrawals from the medication the mother used to take and the Norwegian Social Services intervened. This led to both parents fearing the child would be taken away from them and they decided to leave Norway and come to Malta when the child was only a few days old.

They immediately had the child registered as a Maltese national and established a home together. However, their relationship ended last year and the father was awarded care and custody of the child in January 2010. The mother returned to Norway.

Claiming the father had abducted the child, she submitted a request to the Department for Standards in Social Protection for the child to be returned to Norway.

The father argued that, as he and the mother had come to Malta when their son was only a few days old intending to establish their residence here, this was not a case of child abduction.

The Family Court heard that, in terms of the Hague Convention on child abduction, no court was obliged to order the return of a child if the contesting parent had consented to the child travelling. Nor was the court obliged to order the return if this could expose the child to physical or psychological danger.

Madam Justice Felice noted it resulted from the evidence the couple had intended to establish their residence here and that this country constituted the child’s habitual residence. It also resulted that the mother suffered from mental illness and that her state of health was poor.

The court, therefore, refused the mother’s request to order the return of the child to Norway.

Source: Times Of Malta

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Services

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What to do if a spouse make threats of international child abduction


You May Need to Be Prepared

When a divorce is messy and there is fear that one spouse may try to kidnap the child, it’s best to be prepared. In other words, never take lightly the threat of a spouse. If they say they’re going to take the child, contact the police. According to data from the United States Department of State, since the late 1970’s approximately 16,000 children have either been abducted from the United States and taken out of the country, or prevented by one of their parents from returning to the United States. Once a child is taken from the United States, it is a complicated procedure to regain possession of the child. Therefore, it’s always best to seek out the assistance of a divorce attorney who can help you with legal options. If you have suspicions that your child might be abducted, consider the following:

  • Notify your child’s school if there is a threat of child abduction by the non-custodial parent.
  • Make sure any teacher or babysitter is instructed that they are not to allow anyone to leave with your child unless that person has been authorized in accordance with a court order.
  • Speak with a divorce lawyer before taking any measures to be sure you’re within your legal rights.
  • Keep a record of any threats by writing them down.
  • Keep an updated photo of your child each month as well as any identifying physical characteristics of your child.

If you think your child has been abducted to another country, call the police immediately to determine whether that particular country is a member of the Hague Convention and seek the guidance of an attorney who can submit an application for assistance under the Hague Convention.

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