Hide & Seek: Heartbreaking Tales of Abduction by a Parent when Marriage Sours
Source: Reported by the Straits Times on 2nd February 2019
This article shares with readers some heart wrenching real-life examples of parents who has been estranged from their child (“estranged parent”) as a result of his/her ex-spouse taking the child out of the country for extended periods of time.
In cases like these, the Singapore Family Justice Courts can grant a stop order that ensures the child is to remain in Singapore unless the consent of the Court or both parents are obtained. Thereafter, Singapore Divorce Lawyers can also assist by writing in to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority for help should his/her ex-spouse try to bring a child out even without the consent of the Court or the estranged parent.
The article also paints a picture of a parent’s love by giving some examples an estranged parent would go to locate his/her child who was removed by an ex-spouse. Some choose to hire private investigators and even flying to the country the estranged parent believes his/her child is in. This is notwithstanding the expensive fees incurred by hiring private investigators and the time, effort and costs expended in locating his/her child by making several trips to a foreign country.
It then discusses the availability of an alternative recourse under the treaty of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“the Convention”). In the event the child is abducted to a foreign country who is a member to the Convention, the treaty will be applicable and the child must be promptly returned to Singapore. The Ministry of Social and Family Development is the Central Authority in Singapore that facilitates the return of the child by working with the Central Authority of member countries.
If your child has been removed from Singapore by an ex-spouse and is living overseas
A court can order the return of your child. Our Singapore Divorce Lawyers can assist in making an application to the Singapore Family Justice Courts and walk with you every step of the way, overcoming the multiple legal hurdles when making an application for the return of your child to Singapore.
Child abduction by an ex-spouse can lead to the problem of child(ren) brought out of Singapore being estranged from the parent living in Singapore, better known as ‘parental alienation’. Parental alienation can be very damaging for a parent-child relationship given that it is difficult to mend distant and broken relationships. In ‘Hide & seek: Heartbreaking tales of abduction by a parent when marriage sours’, our head lawyer, Ms Gloria James-Civetta’s timely reminder urges “parents not to alienate their child from the other parent and put the child’s interests first” given that “it is very easy to lose sight of this, especially with emotions running high in an acrimonious relationship.”