Can family mediation work in child abduction cases?
December 5, 2014
Generally, if your partner has abducted your child it is an understatement to say that your level of trust with them is at an all-time low. It is often hard to see past how any aspect of parenting can be shared again. In appropriate cases mediation can provide the valve to allow constructive discussions about future arrangements for your children.
Firstly, you should make use of a legal team highly experienced in this technical area of the law. A list of lawyers that can assist you can be found on the Reunite website. With that safety net in place mediation can run alongside legal proceedings. Mediation in these circumstances usually addresses the mechanics of how your child will be returned, safeguards that need to be put in place, contact arrangements or arrangements for your child to remain where they are.
Sometimes it is necessary to utilise the services of an expert who can provide a report on how the arrangements you have agreed upon could be enforced in another country. At Prism we have a wide array of contacts with experts who can advise on the legal frameworks in place in both Hague and non-Hague Convention Countries. Whilst during mediation legal advice cannot be given we have first-hand experience and comprehensive knowledge of the operation of the Hague Convention 1980, Brussels ii Revised, Hague 1996 and Luxembourg Convention 1980 – so we are well placed to explain to participants as to how these conventions apply. Please see our reported cases page for more information.
If your child is older they may wish to have their voice heard within the mediation process. We offer co-mediation with a mediator qualified in social work who can meet with your child and obtain and convey their views in the most appropriate manner.
Mediation in these circumstances can take place face to face, online, with or without an interpreter; it allows the prospect of #lifelongparenting and helps parents plan for the future rather than pick up the pieces following on from what can be peremptory court proceedings. It is not an easy process but one which can form the bedrock from which fragile trust is rebuilt.