Quatermass wrote:The children were screaming as they were being taken away from their mother by the AFP (which isn't going to do much for their public image) on the news. That should tell you more than anything what the right side is. The father was stated repeatedly to be abusive many times during this.
Yes I read that and there could any number of reasons for that, not least that they've been in mum's care for well over a year and had all kinds of acid poured in their ears about their father and his family - it's not black and white and this women had five children was it with him? (one of them died which it seems was what sparked the marriage breakdown) so she must have liked him a little bit to start with...
Children of broken relationships go through a lot of shit and it's very hard to judge from the outside who's responsible for some or all of it but it's a very rare case when it's entirely all on the part of one parent. This is why courts are involved in settling divorces and the arrangement made for the children. This marriage ended and joint custody was awarded which is normal in most countries in this day and age and, by implication, means the parents have come to some mutual agreement. In this case the father I understand had principal charge of the kids residence - that's unusual, especially in Italy and again presumably there was a reason for that that the mother may not have liked but had agreed to.
She then says she's taking them on holiday - in these cases the other parent, especially if the kids reside with them, have to agree to that so he must have done that too. Then she keeps them in Australia when she must have promised to bring them back... That's clear cut abduction but even then the Hague Convention will take mitigation into account and the reciprocating country, in this case Australia, can overule the order to return children to the original jurisdiction (Italy) if there is a proven and satisfactorily established reason for them not to be - e.g. maltreatement of some stamp. The Austrtalia court has found that there is no such evidence and so they have rightly decided to return the children to their father.
Margi wrote:I understand that in this country the children have a say in which parent they live with. I don't know if that applies elsewhere or not.
Jan, the children are Australian - they have dual nationality the report says. Australian and Italian.
I'd love to know the undercurrents and realities that makes such a thing happen, i.e. to get behind the media headlines.
In Australia as Del will tell you, there are different statutes under State and Federal Law that govern family law. As I understand it it's mostly done by a divorce agreement on residence and visitation rights and the children don't get too much of a say in who they go to because it's ostensibly done by mutual parental consent.
Dual nationality is not a factor in this case. The children were born in Italy and have lived there all their lives up to the point of being taken to Australia (maybe they had family holidays abroad before but abduction wasn't an issue for those). The parent divorced in Italy and the courts there have jurisdiction over the divorce settlement. Legally the Italian courts have precedence and as a signatory to the Hague Convention the Australian have a duty to cede to the court of origin unless there is sufficient evidence to suggest the children's lives are in some kind of peril if returned. That's why I said think about if the situation had been reversed?
If there's no good reason to overturn the court of origin's decision then the next time an Australian child is abducted out of the jurisdiction the affected parent might find it very hard indeed to retrieve them in similar circumstances, which is why the Australian court in this case delayed the children's return for a few months while they worked with the Italian authorities to determine whether there was any substance to the mother's allegations against the father.
You simply do not know what those investigation brought to light but you can take it as read that they were scrupulous and thorough. They obviously found that there was not sufficient reason to accept the mother's allegations, the only ones that have been broadcast by her, not the court who are not obliged to disclose the working of a case like this. I'm sorry but there was patently no evidence to support what the mother has been claiming and so no legal reason to prevent the children returning to Italy.
I really feel sorry for all the girls, but think about what's actually happened with these girls in the last few days. It's the 2 eldest (and presumably teenage) children who were so hysterical they had to be taken off the flight. The 2 youngest, who presumably would be more emotionally upset at being separated from their mother were not so hysterical as to be removed. There has clearly been a lot of emotional behaviour involved on the part of the mother and of course this will effect the girls. High emotion can be used to manipulate any situation. Teenagers are notoriously unstable and capable of manipulating situations emotionally as they evidently did on the plane. This is why it's the courts who decide what is in childrens best interests where the parents are at each other's throats. What they don't
do is separate children from a genuinely loving parent for no good reason. A genuinely loving, rational parent in this situation would also attempt to minimise the distress their child(ren) were going through in an impossible scenario and try not to upset them so spectacularly as this mother has been doing all along. Not saying she doesn't love her children to bits, but knowing how courts decide these things, having constant hysterics in and out of the courtroom does not shout out responsible parent does it?
It's family law. It's not done in public for a reason because these things are delicate and children's welfare should not dealt with in public unless there's severe criminal activity involved. The Hague Convention does not operate in public for that reason and the offending parent is generally not criminalised whether or not they broke a court order. So you're only getting one side of the story here it seems and it's all coming from a woman who seems to relish emotional scenes and seeking press attention to create a media cause celebre.
I dealt with Hague Convention cases as a court clerk from both sides where children had been illegally taken from or were brought into the UK from a reciprocating country. In either scenario details of the case very rarely made it to the papers or media because family law is not
a public matter except in exceptional circumstances. Is it possible that with only side shrieking out the odds that there's more to this than you're going to find out about?