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International Children

Mediation in International Childrens’ disputes

Progressive Mediation can offer a specialist mediation in situations where there has been international parental child abduction/wrongful retention of a child or children involving both Member States of the 1980 Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention States.

We can also mediate to prevent abduction, for instance where a family is separating and there are links with another country.

We also have the expertise to help parents reach agreement about contact where parents live in different countries. Sometimes this can be a situation where one parent wishes to move to another country to reside with their child and would like to see if it is possible to reach an agreement regarding contact before they depart.

Mediation can help parents focus on the best interests of the child to help ensure the child continues to have a positive relationship with both parents and extended family. Issues that might need to be considered in international situations can include:

  • The emotional well-being of the child
  • Country of habitual residence
  • Parental responsibility
  • Arranging schedules of contact between the child and non-resident parent
  • Travel arrangements for contact, including the cost of travel
  • Exchange of information regarding the child’s education and well-being and how to communicate on a regular basis
  • Issues regarding language
  • Regular Skype/telephone/written contact arrangements

If an agreement is reached in mediation we will draw up a Memorandum of Understanding, which can then be submitted as a draft consent order in court proceedings.

Attending mediation will not prejudice or delay any court proceedings which may be taking place in either country. Court proceedings can sometimes be adjourned while mediation takes place and if an agreement is reached in mediation any agreement reached can form part of an agreed consent mirror order which will be submitted to the court in each country. If no court proceedings have started it is still possible for consent mirror orders to be drawn up in each country to ratify any agreements reached in mediation.

It is important, particularly in these international situations that, throughout the mediation process, parents have the opportunity to speak with their solicitors and to family members.

We understand the difficult issues surrounding international parental child abduction and whether you are a parent whose child has been abducted, or a parent defending an allegation of child abduction, it will be a highly emotional and stressful time for you. With our assistance, mediation can offer the opportunity to consider all the options and it is possible that a realistic and practical solution can be reached which will remove the need for contested court proceedings.

We are aware of the main difficulties faced during a relationship breakdown when parents are, or are going to be, living in different countries.  Again, mediation can offer the opportunity to consider all the options and ensure your child maintains a positive relationship with both parents and the extended family.

Although not necessarily so satisfactory, we can arrange mediation by Skype if it is too difficult for one parent to travel to the UK.

Frances has attended specific training regarding the Hague Convention and international child abduction mediation in Brussels and has mediated such disputes for Reunite in the United Kingdom and in Germany.

Call Frances on 0788 903 9393 to discuss your situation.

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