Samina and Sohail had two children of their relationship aged 6 and 15 years. Under the current orders the children lived with their father, Sohail and spent regular time with their mother, Samina. The existing orders also permitted Sohail to travel overseas with the children for periods no longer than 3 weeks. Sohail exercised this right and took the children on an overseas holiday. He gave Samina information that they were going on a 2 week holiday to the South Pacific. On the date of the children’s due return, Samina was unable to contact the children or Sohail. She continued to try unsuccessfully for the next month.
Finally, she was able to contact Sohail and learned that Sohail had taken the children to Pakistan and returned with the 6 year old child only. He further informed Samina that he intended to relocate to Pakistan with the children. Samina began to receive emails from the 15 year old child begging to return home. Samina sought the assistance of the Central Authority in Australia, being the International Kidnapping Team, Community Services. They were unable to assist her as Pakistan was not a signatory to the Hague Convention. Samina sought our assistance to prevent Sohail from taking the 6 year old out of Australia and for the return of the 15 year old child. We filed an urgent application to the Family Court on her behalf.
Once the application was filed we forwarded a copy of the application to the Australian Federal Police to ensure the children were placed on the Airport Watch List at all international points of departure. The names included the alternative names of the children as the father had obtained Pakistani passports without the mother’s consent in names other than the children¿s legal Australian name. We had Sohail served with the documents immediately and the case was listed before the Court in 2 days. We were able to negotiate the return of the 15 year old child to Australia within 72 hours and Sohail was ordered to surrender all the children’s passports in his possession. The 15 year old child was returned, voluntarily, to Australia and subsequent orders prevented the father from travelling with the children at all.
Talk to our Hague Convention Lawyers Sydney for further information.
For further information or assistance please contact Sarah Bevan Family Lawyers.
All names and identifying features have been changed for privacy reasons in our case studies. These case studies only have basic detail in them, and you should always bear in mind that every case is unique. These case studies are examples only, and cannot be applied to your circumstances without consideration of all relevant facts.